Know Your Risk: November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Date: November 1, 2021

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a time for all residents to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Following a year of reduced activity due to COVID-19, statistics show prediabetes rates are on the rise. Currently, 96 million American adults (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes and 8 out of 10 of them do not know they have it. In addition to the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people with prediabetes are also at risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. “We know that adults with diabetes do not live as long as those without it, and that their medical expenses are over 2 times greater than others,” said David Stevenson, CCCY President & CEO. “It’s essential that our community members to be aware of the health risks of prediabetes. The Y is here to help.”

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes  by taking a simple 1-minute risk test at cdc.gov/prediabetes/takethetest. 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.

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, 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.

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