Y offers tips to avoid type 2 diabetes during Diabetes Awareness Month

Online Staff Report

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the YMCA of Rock River Valley 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.

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. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

As a leading voice on improving the nation’s health and well-being, the Y wants everyone to understand their risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes,” said Melissa Burns, wellness director, YMCA of Rock River Valley. “Oftentimes, understanding that a person is at risk is the first step to making the necessary changes needed to live better, healthier lives.”

Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Among these are the following:

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; and

Speak to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight.

To learn more about the YMCA of Rock River Valley’s diabetes and healthy living programs, contact Member Experience Centers at (815) 489-1252 or (815) 885-6852.

Posted Nov. 27, 2013

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