During National Diabetes Awareness Month, the Valley YMCA, a Branch of 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 their chances of developing the disease.
Statistics for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that one in four Americans (86 million people) have prediabetes, up from 79 million in 2010. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 10% of those with prediabetes know they have it but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.
“The number of new people with prediabetes continues to rise and with that the importance of helping residents understand what a prediabetes diagnosis means,” said Christian Engle, senior vice president and COO, Central Connecticut Coast YMCA. “Type 2 diabetes affects not just the person but entire families as well, but the good news is that it is possible to reverse course—simple lifestyle changes reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the Y can help people make the necessary changes to improve health.”
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. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.
The Valley YMCA is helping to improve health through wellness programs such as the YMCA Healthy Lifestyle program which helps individuals adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating healthier, increasing physical activity, and weight loss.
Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living 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 Valley YMCA, a Branch of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA, Healthy Living programs, visit cccymca.org or call 203-777-9622.