November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the YMCA of Snohomish County and its six facility branches are encouraging Snohomish County 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 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than one in three 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.
With awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes — but only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it.
“The Y wants residents of Snohomish County to understand their risk for prediabetes and steps they can take to prevent developing type 2 diabetes,” said Andrea Weiler, Healthy Living director with YMCA of Snohomish County. “Rising diabetes rates cost the nation $245 billion annually for a disease that is preventable with simple lifestyle changes.”
Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a test at http://ymca-snoco.org/preventdiabetes. Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease
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 YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program provides a supportive environment where individuals with risk factors can work with others in a small-group setting to learn how to adopt healthy habits. The program, which is led by a trained Lifestyle Coach in a classroom setting, is delivered during 25 sessions over a 12-month period.
Program participants will learn strategies for eating healthier, increasing physical activity and making other changes that will improve overall well-being. National Institutes of Health research has found programs like the Y’s diabetes prevention classes can reduce the number of cases of type 2 diabetes by almost 60 percent.
The program has a rolling open enrollment process. A class is started as soon as enough people have registered.
For more info on YMCA Diabetes Prevention, contact Andrea Weiler, Healthy Living director, 360-453-2190.