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An Introduction to Diabetes

More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of them don’t know they have it1.

Diabetes is characterized by abnormally high levels of sugar (or glucose) in the blood. When the amount of glucose increases in the blood, usually after a meal, it triggers the release of the hormone insulin from the pancreas. This insulin stimulates muscle and fat cells to remove glucose from the blood and stimulates the liver to metabolize glucose, causing the blood sugar level to get back to normal. This phenomenon is not as effective for diabetic people – their bodies produce little to no insulin and their blood sugar levels remain high2.

At higi, we aim to make it easier for you to be your healthiest. If you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, knowing your blood pressure, weight, and body mass index (BMI) is helpful in managing, or preventing, diabetes.

Learn more about diabetes below and check in at a higi station today to see where your numbers stand. This year YOU CAN take control of your health and lower your risk for diabetes and its complications.

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure

Nearly 2 in 3 people with diabetes report having high blood pressure1. Having diabetes raises your risk for conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and other health problems. Having high blood pressure on top of diabetes raises your risk even more.

It’s recommended that if you have diabetes that you should target a blood pressure lower than 140/90 mmHg and check your blood pressure on a regular basis to make sure you are in a healthy range.

Here are the blood pressure categories (measured in mmHg):

Diabetes and Weight Management

If you do not have diabetes, being overweight or obese can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes – and if you do have diabetes, being overweight or obese increases your risk for complications.

What you eat impacts your weight so it’s important to choose nutritious foods and control your portion sizes to manage your weight. Use the guide below, courtesy of the CDC, to help understand proper portion sizes:

Looking at your basic 9-inch dinner plate, draw an imaginary line down the middle of the plate and divide one side in half.

  • Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables, like salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots.
  • In one of the smaller sections, put a grain or starchy food such as bread, noodles, rice, corn or potatoes.
  • In the other smaller section, put your protein like fish, chicken, lean beef, tofu, or cooked dried beans.

 

In addition to watching what you eat, it’s important to get regular physical activity, especially as you age. Being active for 30 minutes a day, even through walking, cleaning up the house, dancing or playing with your kids can help make a difference in your weight and diabetes management.

Lowering Your Risk for Diabetes and its Complications

If you have diabetes, it’s important to keep your numbers on target to lower your chances of heart disease and other related health complications. To help keep your numbers at your target range, follow the ABCs for diabetes guidelines below3:

Talk to your healthcare provider about what goals are best for you when reviewing your ABCs.

If you don’t have diabetes, it’s still wise to watch what you eat, stay physically active, and continue to educate yourself on diabetes so that you can lower your risk and help others lower their risk as well.

Take the first step in managing your health by visiting a higi station today to check your blood pressure, weight, and BMI – Important numbers to understand when evaluating and taking control of your overall health.

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Did you know you can make some simple changes to help prevent high blood pressure?

Choose healthful meals and snacks that include fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid foods high in salt.

Cigarette smoking raises your your blood pressure and puts you at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you do smoke, talk to your health care provider for help.

Make sure that you have your blood pressure measured regularly. High blood pressure often occurs with no symptoms, so only blood pressure readings will tell you if your blood pressure is on the rise. Stop at the higi station to learn more about your health numbers.

Some examples of aerobic exercise you may try to lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. See how well you’re doing by checking your body mass index (BMI) at a higi station.

Excessive alcohol use can lead to an increased risk of health problems. For more information visit the CDC.

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