Learn more about diabetes
November is National Diabetes Month and the Florence County Health Department would like to remind people that diabetes affects millions of individuals. Diabetes is also a known risk factor for COVID-19 and is an additional reason that folks need to be aware of their health status. It is not too late to take actions to manage or prevent type 2 diabetes. One way that people can lower their risk for type 2 diabetes and more serious complications from COVID-19 is to quit using tobacco products.
There is not enough evidence to say that people with diabetes are more likely to get COVID-19, but there is a greater chance that people with diabetes will experience more severe symptoms and worse outcomes when infected with the virus (American Diabetes Association, 2020). Those with diabetes who do not manage their disease well and experience fluctuating blood sugars will generally be at risk for a number of diabetes-related complications that also include the body’s inability to fight off an infection as well as a healthy person. One of the best ways to avoid COVID-19 complications is to reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. Tobacco use is a leading risk factor for diabetes.
Other health benefits of quitting tobacco use includes improving health and increasing life expectancy, lowering the risk of 12 different types of cancer, lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, lowers the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lowers the risk of some poor reproductive health outcomes. Did you know that 1 in 3 Wisconsin adults has prediabetes and most of them don’t know it? Small changes to your lifestyle can actually reverse prediabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes. Learn more about your risk for developing type 2 diabetes at www.diabetes.org/widhsrisktest.
If you are a current tobacco user and would like to explore the option of quitting, there is free help available by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW or by texting “READY” to 200-400. Tobacco users that are enrolled in Medicaid should also talk to their doctor about the Medicaid cessation benefit.
You can also learn more ways to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/diabetes/. For more information, go to the Florence County Health Department webpage at http://www.florencecountywi.com/. The Florence County Health Department is on the first floor of the courthouse. Need health insurance? Go to access.wi.gov to see if you qualify for benefits.