Wellness Tips

National Diabetes Month: Taking Charge of Your Health and Saving Money on Diabetes Care

Good Morning, this is your Wellness Wake Up Call with Kristin Bogdonas, nutrition and wellness educator for University of Illinois Extension, serving Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, and Stark Counties.

November is National Diabetes Month. Did you know…

● 1 in 10 Americans has diabetes? That’s more than 37 million people. The scary thing is, 20% of them don’t know they have it!

● In the Quad Cities Area, ~13% of adults have diabetes. Another 11% have been told they have pre-diabetes or “borderline” diabetes.

Don’t let prediabetes take you by surprise. You can have prediabetes for years without symptoms which makes sense why more than 80% of people don’t know they have it!

If you have a family history of diabetes, are 45 years or older, are overweight or have had gestational diabetes, talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested. These are all risk factors for prediabetes.

Once you know your blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels are elevated, you can make necessary lifestyle changes to prevent or delay disease progression. If you don’t do anything, many with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Both, diabetes and prediabetes increase your risk for heart disease and stroke so don’t delay! Taking charge of your health may help you prevent diabetes health problems such as damage to your heart, eyes and nerves.

Sometimes a little exercise and a change in your eating pattern can greatly affect your blood glucose levels and bring them into a normal range. Remember that diabetes is a progressive disease, so over time you may need medications.

With the rise in food costs, it can be a challenge to eat a well, balanced diet AND pay for health care costs.

It’s estimated that a person with diabetes pays more than twice as much a year for health care as a person who doesn’t have diabetes. Here are few tips from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) on how to save money on diabetes care:

1. To save on medicine, call your health insurance company to find out which medicines are covered at the lowest cost to you and compare pharmacies for the least expensive prescription prices. Your neighborhood drug store may not have the lowest.

2. To save on supplies, consider buying in bulk online rather than buying as needed. You can also ask you diabetes educator for samples.

3. To save on treatment, ask your doctor about research studies for free care or supplies or ask to be referred to a diabetes education specialist. They often know about additional discounts and resources that may not be public knowledge.

Also, consider the foods you choose. Eating healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some money-saving tips:

1. Prep at home. Are you paying for produce AND prep work? Those pre-cut packages of vegetables and fruit can save time but you can save some serious money if you slice and dice the produce yourself.

2. Stock up on various forms of food. Fresh is not always best. Stocking up on lots of fresh produce generally leads to lots of food waste, especially if you’re only cooking for one or two. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables can be equally nutritious if you select the low-sugar/sodium varieties. Frozen foods are also packed at peak ripeness so they preserve a lot of the nutrients that might be lost during transport to the store.

3. Eat more plant-based proteins. This includes beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils. Not only are they high in protein, they are also high in fiber, iron and many other nutrients important for heart health.

For more information and financial help for diabetes care, visit wvik.org/wellness. Here you can also take a 1-minute quiz to discover your risk for prediabetes.

As always, thank you for listening and have a healthy and happy day ahead! This has been Kristin Bogdonas, nutrition & wellness educator for University of Illinois Extension, serving Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, and Stark Counties.

Wellness Wake Up Call is produced by WVIK in partnership with University of Illinois Extension, and sponsored by The Planning Center in Moline, assisting men and women with financial wellness and preparation for life’s transitions, including retirement planning, college savings, marital changes, and estate planning.


Additional Resources:

Take The Prediabetes Risk Test | DoIHavePrediabetes.org

Diabetes Meal Plan on a Budget (eatingwell.com)



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