By YMCA of Western Monmouth County
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and the YMCA of Western Monmouth County is encouraging everyone to learn their risks for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and to take preventive steps to potentially reduce their chances of developing the disease.
Diabetes is a class of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). The underlying cause of diabetes varies by type. But, no matter what type of diabetes you have, it can lead to excess sugar in your blood. Too much sugar in your blood can lead to serious health problems. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart failure and stroke. Numbers that are dramatically increasing in the last decade, it can affect anyone from children, adults, ethnicity and age.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that more than one in three Americans (84 million people) has prediabetes. Only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it but 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.
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.
For more information about the YMCA of Western Monmouth County and the wide variety of programs and activities available for all ages, visit www.ymcanj.org.