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November Health & Wellness



Managing Diabetes It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It

If you have diabetes, you know the day-to-day steps needed to manage diabetes can be hard. Managing diabetes can be easier if you set goals and make a plan. This is important because research has shown that managing diabetes as early as possible can help prevent diabetes-related health problems such as kidney disease, vision loss, heart disease and stroke. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and the Lake Cumberland District Health Department want you to know that many people struggle with diabetes and you are not alone. Managing diabetes is not easy, but it’s worth it.

You do not have to make big lifestyle changes all at once. Set realistic goals based on what is important to you.  Start with small changes, such as walking 15 minutes twice a day or replacing sugary drinks with water. These are small steps that can go a long way to help you manage your diabetes.

If you are having trouble coping with the demands of diabetes, ask for help. Having a network of support from family, friends, and your health care team can help you stay on track with your diabetes plan.

The NDEP has free resources that can help:

• 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life: This booklet gives four key steps to help you manage your diabetes and live a long and active life.

• Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them to Manage Your Diabetes: This tip sheet tells you why it helps to know your blood sugar numbers, how to check your blood sugar levels, and what to do if your levels are too low or too high.

• Taking Care of Your Diabetes Means Taking Care of Your Heart: This tip sheet provides a list of things you can do to manage your diabetes and prevent diabetes-related heart disease.

• How to Help a Loved One Cope with Diabetes: This resource offers tips on how to support a loved one with diabetes.

National Diabetes Month is observed every November so individuals, health care professionals, organizations, and communities across the country can bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. November 14th is recognized as World Diabetes Day throughout the world, so join us by wearing blue on Monday, November 14th to increase awareness of diabetes.

Learn more about diabetes by visiting to see when the next diabetes education class is offered in your county at the local health department or simply call 1-800-928-4416and ask to speak to the diabetes educator. You may also want to become a friend of LCDHD on Facebook at or follow us at .

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.

Did you know?

According to data from Statistics Brain, the American Cancer Society and Health Land, around 70 percent of smokers harbor a desire to quit altogether, while 40 percent of smokers will try to quit this year. Quitting smoking is a popular New Year’s resolution, and a choice that can improve smokers’ health dramatically. Smokers can reduce their rate of dying from smoking by half just by quitting before age 50. Although the percentage of smokers who will succeed in quitting the first time around is small, it is still worth the effort. Today there are many different plans, medications and smoking-cessation support groups to help smokers as they attempt to quit.

LCDHD Receives Grant For Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program 

Somerset – Lake Cumberland District Health Department (LCDHD) is pleased to announce it has received a $433,996 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) for their 10-county service area. ACF awards grants through a competitive application and review process. The awarded funding will support the delivery of sexual risk avoidance education (SRAE) to adolescents in seventh grade over the next three years.

Although Kentucky and the nation’s teen birth rates are declining, the targeted area, which is made up of Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, Taylor, and Wayne counties, continues to struggle with high teen birth rates. Teen birth rates in the ten target counties are disturbing high, exceeding both the state and national rates. Teen births rates among 15-19 year olds top the charts at 83.5 per 1,000 in one targeted county, compared to Kentucky 38.7 and U.S. 26.7.

The goal of the SRAE program is to educate youth on how to voluntarily refrain from non-marital sexual activity and prevent other youth risk behaviors.  Awardees must use medically accurate information and teach the benefits associated with self-regulation, success sequencing for poverty prevention, healthy relationships, goal setting, resisting sexual coercion, dating violence, and other youth risk behaviors such as underage drinking or illicit drug use without normalizing teen sexual activity.

“We want to see our youth achieve their full life potential,” says LCDHD’s Executive Director Shawn Crabtree, “with these grant funds, we will seek to provide the education and tools needed to prevent unplanned teen pregnancy and the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections.”

Quitting smoking now can pay immediate dividends

Few habits are as addictive or harmful as smoking tobacco. As a result, it should come as no surprise that quitting smoking is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions.

While lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bronchitis are most often linked to smoking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that smoking has the potential to harm nearly every organ of the body. Smoking can cause many diseases and reduce the overall health of anyone who smokes regularly.

Cigarettes contain approximately 600 ingredients. In addition to nicotine, tobacco smoke may contain acetone, ammonia, arsenic, lead, tar, formaldehyde, and benzene. Many of these ingredients are found elsewhere in solvents, cleaners and adhesives. Carbon monoxide that is produced in cigarette smoke (which is the same harmful gas that is produced from heating equipment and car exhaust systems) can be deadly and reduce the capacity of cells to carry oxygen. Many of the ingredients in tobacco products are carcinogenic, meaning they have the potential to cause cancer.

The American Lung Association says that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, causing more than 438,000 deaths per year. The ingredients in cigarettes can cause DNA mutation, oxidative stress, which contributes to the aging process, chronic inflammation, and a reduction in antioxidants, which help fight various illnesses. Tar and other metals in their tobacco smoke can stick to the walls of the lungs and reduce their function.

Quitting smoking immediately lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life. The American Cancer Society says that heart rate and blood pressure drop within 20 minutes of quitting. After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal. Circulation and lung function can improve in a matter of weeks. The CDC says your risk for heart attack drops sharply just one year after quitting smoking. Within two to five years of quitting, risk for stroke falls to roughly the same rate as a nonsmoker’s.

Another immediate benefit of quitting is that, once you quit, you are no longer putting others at risk for illness from exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, the interior of your home and car will smell better, and your hair and clothes will no longer carry the hallmark aroma of cigarette smoke.

The ACS notes that studies have indicated that roughly 25 percent of smokers who use medicines can stay smoke-free for more than six months. Counseling and the emotional support of friends and family can improve success rates as well. There’s also early evidence that combining certain medicines may work better than using a single drug. It may take a few attempts and different strategies to find a smoking cessation program that works for you.

Consult with your doctor about quitting smoking and discuss each option with your physician before giving it a try.

Some startling smoking stats

• Most lung cancer cases are attributed to cigarette smoking. Information from indicates that 90 percent of lung cancer cases in men and 80 percent in women can be traced back to smoking.

• Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and the leading smoking-related cause of death.

• Cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable morbidity and premature mortality around the world.

• Smoking-related diseases cause an estimated 440,000 American deaths each year, and tobacco kills an estimated 45,000 Canadians a year, says the Canadian Lung Association.

• A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke were 25 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease compared to nonsmokers not exposed to smoke.

• Improvements in breathing ability and lung health can begin as early as 72 hours after quitting smoking. After nine months, smoking-related coughing, congestion and shortness of breath should slow and cease. After one year, risk of coronary heart decreases by 50 percent.

There are many avenues for quitting smoking. Talk with a doctor about medical and nonmedical intervention to find a plan that works for you.

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