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Tips for Preventing Diabetes from SCF, Manatee-Sarasota Nursing Program

(Bradenton, Fla., Nov. 28, 2017) — November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota’s (SCF) nursing program is providing information and diabetes prevention tips. Type 1 diabetes is often hereditary and has no known prevention options. The much more common Type 2 diabetes, however, is linked to lifestyle choices that impact the chance of developing the disease.

“A person’s weight, the types of foods they eat, and how often they exercise are probably three of the most important factors to consider when trying to avoid Type 2 diabetes,” said Rosie Fairchild, dean of SCF’s nursing department.

Nurses, many of whom work as diabetes educators, recommend the following prevention tips:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a leading cause of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Exercise regularly. Some studies have shown that high levels of physical activity reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 28 percent.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid foods that are highly processed or high in carbohydrates and simple-sugars.
  • Quit smoking. Smokers are 30-40 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers.

Fairchild, who has a doctorate in nursing science and health systems research, also recommends being aware of the disease’s symptoms and talking with your doctor if you experience increased thirst and frequent urination, increased hunger, unexpected weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, frequent infections or areas of darkened skin. People who have a family history of Type 2 diabetes should be especially vigilant.

“Type 2 diabetes can devastate the body,” said Fairchild. “It’s important to take steps to prevent it, but we also know that lifestyle changes help keep it at bay even more than medications if a person is diagnosed.”

For more information on diabetes prevention, visit the American Diabetes Association at diabetes.org. For information about SCF’s nursing programs, visit SCF.edu/Nursing. 

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