Know Your Risk: November is National Diabetes Awareness Month
During National Diabetes Awareness Month, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City is encouraging members of the community to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in three Americans (84 million people) has prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it. But with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may be able to prevent the onset of diabetes.
“Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are preventable conditions, but many people don’t know they are at risk, let alone the steps to take to avoid the disease,” said Dr. Daphne Bascom, Senior Vice president and Medical Director of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. “Fortunately, the Y is here to help.”
You can assess your risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at YMCA.net/diabetes. Through this assessment, you also can 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.
You can also make some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living and can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes.
The following tips will not only help prevent the risk of illness but also help you maintain a healthy lifestyle:
Eat fruits and vegetables every day.
Choose fish, lean meats and poultry without skin.
Aim for whole grains with every meal.
Be moderately active, getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each 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.
The YMCA of Greater Kansas City also offers the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. To be eligible for this program, you must be at least 18 years old with a BMI of 25 or greater and at risk for developing type 2 diabetes or have been diagnosed with prediabetes. A diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.
Learn more about our Diabetes Prevention Program at KansasCityYMCA.org/Diabetes or contact us at HealthCommunity@KansasCityYMCA.org.