Stanley: Healthy living lowers risk for diabetes

Sandra Stanley.jpeg

Sandra Stanley


By Anna Goodwin McCarthy

Saturday, November 18, 2017

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and Sandra Stanley is promoting the prevention of type 2 diabetes through lifestyle change.

Stanley serves 15 counties in Northeastern North Carolina as the community health systems coordinator in Region 9 with the Obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke Prevention Grant.

The grant “promotes the Diabetes Prevention Program in Region 9, and assists organizations in becoming a CDC recognized DPP provider,” according to the NENC Healthy Living website at www.nenchealthyliving.org/what-we-do/diabetes-management/.

Stanley’s Office is located in the Perquimans County Health Department. She has been a health educator with Albemarle Regional Health Services for 26 years.

Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, and Stanley recommends losing five to seven percent of body weight, eating healthier and being more physically active.

Stanley also suggests eating more fruits and vegetables, reading nutritional labels and reducing caloric intake.

Stanley said on her visits to classes in organizations where the Diabetes Prevention Program is offered, she has witnessed the positive effects of the program.

“The participants have loved it,” said. “The program is a lifestyle change program.”

A list of organizations providing the Diabetes Prevention Program and qualifications to become a participant can be found at www.nenchealthyliving.org/what-we-do/diabetes-management/.

Stanley said one of the biggest misconceptions of diabetes is that if it is in a person’s family there is nothing you can do to prevent the disease because of the hereditary risk factor.

“Your risk is higher, but there are things you can do to turn your life around,” said Stanley.

“My dad is an insulin dependent diabetic,” said Stanley. “My grandmother had diabetes.”

During her two pregnancies, Stanley said she had gestational diabetes. At one point in her life, Stanley said she was prediabetic.

“I have changed my lifestyle,” said Stanley.

Stanley said she and her husband, Gary, walk 40 minutes a day. She also enjoys running and playing tennis.

Stanley said the last time she had an A1C test it was “good and normal” and “below diabetic parameters.”

Stanley said she enjoys her job helping others to prevent type 2 diabetes.

“I’ve gotten to meet so many different people,” said Stanley.

Stanley earned her bachelor’s degree in health science with a concentration in public health education from James Madison University. She earned her master’s degree in divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Stanley lives in Edenton and is a member of Edenton Baptist Church. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

For more information about diabetes prevention and awareness, Stanley suggests people visit the NENC Healthy Living website at www.nenchealthyliving.org and the CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program website at https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/index.html.