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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Teams with Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith in Diabetes Awareness Drive
Date:3/26/2009

Blue Cross drafts Lovie Smith to carry message that good lifestyle choices help prevent diabetes type 2

CHICAGO, March 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith believes the best offense is a good defense - in football and in preventing diabetes type 2. Sadly, he learned to be vigilant about diabetes in his own family. "Seeing my mother lose her eyesight at a young age motivates me quite a bit. I think about all the things Mom could have seen. She has never seen her grandkids. Eating right and exercise could have eliminated all that."

Diabetes type 2 is a metabolism problem in which the body has trouble turning sugar into energy. Since several Smith family members (two older siblings plus his mother) have the condition, he long ago viewed diabetes as the enemy. (Type 1 diabetes is tied to genetic abnormalities and is usually not preventable.) For his fight against type 2, Smith trains like a gladiator. He exercises regularly, keeps his weight in check, avoids stress (or at least as much as a pro football coach can!), controls carbohydrate intake, treats his high blood pressure, brings down "bad cholesterol" levels and no longer smokes. "I figure I'm next in line if I don't keep track of my health. Twice a year my doctor does a great job of screening for blood glucose and the other markers of diabetes."

Dr. Kim Reed, M.D., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois' medical director, uses the same playbook as Smith when it comes to self-management of diabetes type 2. "People with diabetes should see their doctor at least twice a year and talk to their doctor about creating a diabetes care plan that includes their medications, regularly checking blood glucose, diet and exercise." You also need to know what you should do when your blood glucose level is too high or too low, he adds. Reed also stresses managing diabetes on a daily basis "because diabetes can damage blood vessels, heart,
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois - Health Care
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