November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA is encouraging residents to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce developing the disease. Currently, one in three Americans (79 million people) has prediabetes, a condition where a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for them to be diagnosed with diabetes. With awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.
Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at CCC YMCA Diabetes Prevention and learn how lifestyle choices help determine the ultimate risk developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include family history, age, weight and activity level, among others. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm if a person has diabetes or prediabetes.
“The Y is dedicated to improving the nation’s health and well-being, and helping residents understand their risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes is just one way we are improving the health of our community,” said Kelly Vaughan, CCC YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator. “Choosing to make healthy changes is the first step.”
While the nation’s obesity epidemic and the rise in type 2 diabetes is well chronicled, the number of people with prediabetes remains a growing and often underreported condition. Currently only 7 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it, and people with prediabetes are at serious risk for not only developing type 2 diabetes, but also heart disease, stroke and other conditions.
To help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the Y offers some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living that can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Among these are:
· Eat fruits and vegetables every day.
· Choose fish, lean meats, and poultry without skin.
· Aim for whole grains with every meal.
· Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.
· Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
· Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight.
To learn more about the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA’s Healthy Living and the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, please go to cccymca.org or call 203 375 5844 x 32.