At some point in childhood, most of us were taught it is best not to worry about problems that haven’t come up. That may be good advice on a lot of fronts, but when it comes to diabetes, a little worry is a good idea.
Diabetes is a serious problem in our country and in our county.
• Diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the United States.
• Recent studies estimate that 79 million Americans over the ages of 20 have prediabetes.
• Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
• In 2010, roughly 1.9 million new cases of diabetes in people over the age of 20 were diagnosed.
• People with diabetes are about 50 percent more likely to die than people of the same age without diabetes.
• Medical expenses for people with diabetes are 2.3 times greater than those without.
That’s the bad news. The good news is, there are ways to identify if you are at risk for diabetes – a condition we now call prediabetes – and some fairly simple steps you can take to keep actual diabetes at bay.
Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
In coming months, Activate Allen County and the Lima YMCA will launch a local effort to assist Allen County residents diagnosed with prediabetes and help set them on the path to avoiding type 2 diabetes.
Based on effective efforts researched by the National Institutes of Health, the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program will help you learn about and adopt the healthy eating and physical activity habits that have been proven to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Through the program you will receive support and encouragement from both a trained lifestyle coach and fellow classmates as you develop a plan for improving and maintaining your overall well-being
We will tell you more about the program as it ramps up. In the meantime, if you think you or someone you know may be at risk of diabetes, see your health care specialist. And for more information on this and other Allen County efforts, go to www.activateallencounty.com.
Health tips courtesy of Activate Allen County will appear in this space every Monday.