Know Your Risk: November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

LOCK HAVEN – During National Diabetes Awareness Month, the Lock Haven Area YMCA is encouraging residents of Lock Haven and Clinton County 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 (CDC) show that more than one in three Americans (84 million people) has prediabetes.

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. 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.

“Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are preventable conditions, but many people don’t know they are at risk, let alone the steps to take to avoid the disease,” said Kody Graham, Executive Director of the Lock Haven Area YMCA. “Fortunately, the Y is here to help, as developing type 2 diabetes not only puts a tremendous strain on our health care system but impacts the lives of millions of people and their families each year.”

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 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.

“Prediabetes and diabetes are among the most common conditions that primary care providers at UPMC Susquehanna help patients manage on a daily basis,” said Carrie Timko, MD, SH Family Medicine at Lock Haven. “Diabetes impacts many aspects of your health, including your eyesight, kidneys, blood vessels, and the nervous system. Prevention is key, and you should speak to your doctor about ways to lower your risk for diabetes. As care providers, we’re here to help you develop a holistic plan to improve your wellness and lower your risk for diabetes, as well as connect you to resources in your community, such as the YMCA, that can also help you on your wellness journey.”

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.

To learn more about the Lock Haven Area YMCA’s Healthy Living Program and partnerships, please contact Beth Bartlett, Membership and Wellness Director at bethb@lockhavenymca.org.

The Lock Haven Area YMCA is for Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.

About the Y: The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors.

Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net

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