NWTH celebrating diabetes management & awareness during the holidays

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The holiday season brings out the sweets, good eats and treats…But it also raises the awareness of millions of Americans living with and managing diabetes.

“We’re celebrating by looking at how we’ve managed diabetes the last 100 years,” said Amanda Ast, Diabetes Education Coordinator, Northwest Texas Healthcare System. “How there’s been significant changes in the last 20 or 30 years in making management less painful, more affordable and more hopeful for people with diabetes.”

According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans are living with and managing diabetes.
But let’s backtrack for a minute. In order to manage diabetes, we first have to know what it is and what causes it.

“It’s essentially the pancreas is no longer able to manage the glucose within our body, and sometimes there’s stress on the body, inflammation, infection, illness, like covid-19, that puts so much stress on the pancreas that it can just become weakened and not work like it’s supposed to,” Ast said.

She said some of the factors making the fight against diabetes harder than it has to be is lack of education about the illness and myths surrounding it.

“A common myth is you need to cut carbs, but the truth is, you need to consume not too much or too little, let’s try to get a manageable amount,” she said. “Another common myth is you can no longer have white foods, fruit, cake or brownies. It’s so important that we understand that the overall goal is want to be mindful about what we’re eating.”

Ast adds, when it comes to nutrition, it’s ok to enjoy food, but moderation is key.

“Learn to listen to your body, and be mindful of the three big things, that you’re checking in with your doctor often, we want to really have a healthy relationship with food, we also want to be moving our bodies.”

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