Diabetes – Separating Facts from Fiction

Blood sugar testing at home. Checking Blood Sugar Level At Home. Diabetic Checking Blood Sugar Levels. Woman checking blood sugar level by glucometer and test stripe at home

FROM THE BLOG

DIABETES - SEPARATING FACTS FROM FICTION

Is a low-carb diet the best diet for people with type 2 diabetes?

There is no best diet for diabetes. They all have strengths and weaknesses. The plate model with ¼ lean protein, ¼ healthy starches (like sweet potatoes or brown rice) and ½ vegetables is best. Ask your doctor or dietitian to help you make a food plan that's right for you.

If I have type 2 diabetes, will I always have to take medicine?

Many people can keep good blood sugar levels without medicine. The key is to lose any extra weight, exercise regularly, watch your meal portions, and spread the carbohydrates you eat throughout the day. If you're already taking diabetes medication, you may be able to work with your doctor to cut back or even stop taking it if you lose weight or become more active.

If I am overweight, how much weight do I need to lose to help my diabetes?

Losing even a few pounds can improve your blood glucose control. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, losing 9 to 18 pounds can lower your blood sugar. Talk to your doctor or dietician about a weight loss plan that will work for you based on your weight.

Is taking a 30 minute walk 3 times a week enough exercise if you’re diabetic?

You should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. That's 30 minutes of aerobics at least 5 days a week. Walking counts, as long as you're working hard enough that you can't sing.

What should my target A1C should be?

For most people with diabetes, 7% or less is a good goal, especially during the first few years after diagnosis. A higher A1c means complications are more likely.

If my diabetes is progressing, am I’m doing something wrong?

The fact is, diabetes can change over time. So, don’t be discouraged if your healthcare provider suggests a change to your routine or your medication. It may not be something you did wrong. It’s just another step in how you need to control your diabetes.

Staci McKelvey

SVP, Marketing & Communications

smckelvey@hmcebs.com

860.697.6960 x403

Three Ways to Support a Loved One with Breast Cancer

Husband kissing sick wife with cancer after chemotherapy
FROM THE BLOG 

THREE WAYS TO SUPPORT A LOVED ONE WITH BREAST CANCER

A new cancer diagnosis or starting treatment can be scary and overwhelming for your loved one. Now is the time to tap into your inner superhero. Don’t underestimate the impact of your role as a spouse, partner, friend or family member. Read on to see how to be an all-star support for your loved one.
Be Present.
Treatment can cause changes in body image, hormones and leave patients feeling exhausted. Stay positive, encouraging and present. Being there for your partner physically and emotionally shows that you care. According to the American Cancer Society, not only is it critical for your spouse's emotional well-being, but studies have shown that survival may be better for those with good social support. If you don’t live nearby, support using the other resources, like employing online social networking to update family and friends or raise funds if necessary.
Be Prepared.
When going through cancer treatment, everyday chores and errands still need to be done. Tap into friends and family to assist with house cleaning, childcare, meal preparation and grocery shopping. With all the everyday chores taken care of, plan fun outings to raise the spirits of your loved one. Perhaps a lunch visit with old friends or a short shopping trip for some retail therapy. A matinee movie can provide a low stress way to relax.
Be Proactive.
Support by organizing medications, keeping medical records, tracking bills and understanding insurance benefits. Learn and know who to go to for symptom advice, finance support and home healthcare if needed. Your actions let your loved one know you care and can relieve some of their stress. Remember that often the little things mean the most.

Staci McKelvey

SVP, Marketing & Communications

smckelvey@hmcebs.com

860.697.6960 x403

What to know about getting Immunizations and Vaccines

vaccination of children. An injection. Selective focus kids

FROM THE BLOG

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT GETTING IMMUNIZATIONS AND VACCINES

People managing ongoing health issues need to pay close attention to their immunizations and vaccine schedule. According to the CDC, every year thousands of adults with chronic conditions get sick and or die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.

Vaccines adults need if they have the following conditions:

INFLUENZA PNEUMOCOCCAL TDAP HEP B SHINGLES HPV SERIES TD
DIABETES
HEART DISEASE
STROKE
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE  ✅  ✅
LUNG DISEASE & ASTHMA
IMMUNOCOMPROMISING CONDITIONS
NO CHRONIC CONDITIONS ✅*

 

Influenza vaccine
To protect against seasonal flu every year

Pneumococcal vaccine
To protect against serious pneumococcal diseases

TDAP vaccine
To protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough

HEP B vaccine
To protect against hepatitis B

Shingles vaccine
To protect against shingles

HPV vaccine series
To protect against human papillomavirus if you are a man or woman up to age 26 years

Td vaccine
To protect against tetanus

Check with your Dr. since additional vaccination needs vary and are determined by your individual factors such as age, job, travel, and past vaccinations.

For more information on vaccinations and chronic condition please visit https://www.cdc.gov/features/vaccineschronicconditions/index.html


*   If you receive Tdap vaccine – you don’t need Td vaccine.

Don’t Get Burned by the Sun

AdobeStock_135532184-01

FROM THE BLOG

DON'T BURNED BY THE SUN

When the sun is shining, we love to be outside; so why do we only wear sunscreen when we go to the
pool or beach?
Anytime we are in the sun, we are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays, and even on cloudy days we get some
UV rays. According to the CDC, all of this exposure causes most cases of skin cancer, the most common
cancer in the United States.
Did you know that it takes more than sunscreen to keep your skin safe? In fact, it is recommended to use
multiple strategies to enjoy the great outdoors year-round.
  • Wear a wide brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses with UV protection, the best pairs block 100% of UV rays
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Find a shady spot to sit or only work or play outside in the shade
  • Avoid the outdoors during peak sun hours, 10am-4pm
  • Use broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 on exposed skin
  • Be sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating
The CDC warns that anyone, no matter their skin tone, can get skin cancer. Be sure to examine your skin
from head to toe monthly to look for any changes. Seeing a dermatologist yearly can help identify skin
cancer early.
Whether you’re enjoying a dip in a pool or cooling off oceanside, taking time to protect yourself from skin
cancer should be everyone’s priority. Stay safe while working and playing in the sun this summer and all
year long!

Staci McKelvey

SVP, Marketing & Communications

smckelvey@hmcebs.com

860.697.6960 x403

Connect with Nature for Great Outdoors Month®

familia feliz paseando por el campo

FROM THE BLOG

CONNECT WITH NATURE FOR GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH®

Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy long sunny days outside. June is Great Outdoors Month, making it a great time to explore and connect with nature. Whether you like to hike, bike, canoe or walk; spend time in the sun, apply sunscreen and delight in being outdoors.

Taking time to escape the indoors has its health benefits. Along with getting more exercise while doing outdoor activities, studies show your concentration will increase and you’ll be happier. Being with nature makes us calmer and more balanced. Time spent in the great outdoors reduces blood pressure, increases creativity and improves mood and self-esteem. Being in nature has a stress reducing effect and can lower anxiety. Maybe you should be reading this blog outdoors?

Our children also benefit. According to Great Outdoors Month®, a generation ago, kids spent more than four hours a day outside -- now, it’s less than 40 minutes per week. Children who engage in fun outdoor activities are more likely to be physically fit, have better eyesight, and improved cognitive development. Let’s encourage our kids to turn off the TV, video games, put away their phones and play outside with friends and family.

Looking for an adventure this summer? Try one of the 400 national parks and more than 84 million acres of protected national parkland in the United States and US Territories. You may be surprised to find some in your community. Click here to find a national park: https://findyourpark.com/your-parks.

No time to travel to a national park? Plan a family picnic, go fishing, fly a kite or take the dog for a walk. Any and all outdoor activities have benefits!


Sources

https://www.verywellfit.com/best-national-parks-for-alternative-fitness-activities-85987

https://www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org/

Staci McKelvey

SVP, Marketing & Communications

smckelvey@hmcebs.com

860.697.6960 x403