From Our Team
Posted on July 15, 2022 by Dr. Michael Kelly
Living with diabetes isn’t always easy. People diagnosed with diabetes may ask, “What foods can I eat?”, “When should I check my blood sugar?”, or “How does physical activity affect my blood sugar?”
As complex as it can be to manage diabetes or help a loved one manage theirs, it is possible to do well, be well and lead a healthy, happy life while keeping blood sugar levels at safe and consistent levels.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Paso del Norte Health Foundation are here to help with a variety of programs designed to help navigate diabetes. The new “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” online course is available for a one-time co-pay of just $30. Enrollment is valid for one-year, giving participants plenty of time to complete each module at their own pace allows clients the opportunity to learn at their own pace, when and where they have time to focus on their condition.
“Texas A&M AgriLife works to impact the quality of life for all Texans through a variety of classes for adults in managing their health,” Danielle H. Krueger, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist said.
“One of the major goals is to help prevent and delay complications of diabetes,” Krueger said. “Diabetes can affect eyesight or progress to affect our kidneys, our feet, our heart. It’s a chronic disease, so it’s something we have to manage and the foods we eat play a major role.”
Krueger, a registered dietitian, said, “We have designed a course that works step-by-step to fundamentally teach how to help change your behavior and gain control over your own health. Each of the seven course modules builds upon what you learned in the last and has fun activities that help to reinforce the everyday choices you make that can help make living with diabetes easier.”
- The basics of diabetes
- How food affects blood glucose
- Carbohydrate choices
- Why check your blood glucose?
- The basics of medication
- Being physically active
- Preventing further complications
According to the El Paso Center for Diabetes, an estimated 9.4 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, making it the seventh leading cause of death. In El Paso, the prevalence of diabetes outpaces the national numbers, with 13.9 percent of adults, or about 94,000 El Pasoans, living with diabetes.
Through educational programs like Do Well, Be Well and the El Paso Center for Diabetes, Now What campaign, which was created in partnership with the El Paso Diabetes Alliance, individuals can be educated at their own pace, which helps reduce the burden that diabetes places on the entire community.
“I think education is key,” said Krueger. “When my father was diagnosed, he was the typical guy who was in denial about his diabetes. Many people go through that. Sometimes it’s because they don’t know all the facts or what the side effects of medication are. If we educate people on how to manage their diabetes and get them to the point where medication or insulin isn’t as necessary, teach them that a healthy lifestyle can be easier and cheaper, then we can help them to feel less overwhelmed and make life easier.”
In addition to the Do Well, Be Well courses, the “Diabetes, Now What” campaign is also helping the El Paso community educate and navigate diabetes. The campaign’s website has useful information, including a downloadable shopping list, cooking classes, support groups and more. Those resources can be found at epdiabetes.org/now-what/.
Being successful in managing diabetes starts with knowing the basics of self-care and learning how to incorporate healthy food into everyday meals. But you don’t have to do it alone. The Paso del Norte Health Foundation and its partners are here to help you navigate your way to a healthy, productive lifestyle.
To learn more about the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension program and purchase the course, go to agrilifelearn.tamu.edu/.
PDNHF Initiative: Diabetes
Foundation Staff: Michael Kelly
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