November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the Y wants people to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease.
Currently, one in three Americans (79 million people) has prediabetes, a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 11 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it. 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 ymca.net/diabetes. Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. A diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.
If a person has a prediabetes diagnosis, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is one option offered by the Y that can help. Our Diabetes Prevention Program is a lifestyle modification program that helps people reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes by teaching participants about eating healthier, increasing physical activity and other behavior changes. Programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can help reduce new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
Some basic lifestyle changes that can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes include: