Prediabetes and You, a Hidden Risk


Tuesday, March 27, is American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day, and with millions of Americans at risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, the Y urges residents throughout Will and Grundy Counties to learn their risk and take action to prevent the disease.

In the United States alone, diabetes affects over 30 million people; another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it. These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of healthcare (in 2012 alone, the ADA estimates that diabetes cost the health care system $245 billion) makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before.

The nation’s struggle with obesity and type 2 diabetes is no surprise but the number of people with prediabetes is a growing issue, especially when so few people realize they have the condition. 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.

Often preventable, people with prediabetes can reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by adopting behavior changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity. People with prediabetes are at risk for not only developing type 2 diabetes but also cardiovascular disease, stroke and other conditions.

The Y encourages all adults to take a diabetes risk test at www.ymca.net/diabetes. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include family history, age, weight and activity level, among others.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH

The Greater Joliet Area YMCA has programs designed for those at risk for developing prediabetes and those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

  • Diabetes Prevention Program — A yearlong program featuring a CDC-approved curriculum that helps prediabetics lose weight, gain energy, reduce their risk for diabetes and improve their overall health.
  • Diabetes Self-Management Program — A FREE 7-week program that provides valuable information and tools for self-managing diabetes.

To learn more about diabetes-related programming, please contact Susan Krause at [email protected] or (815) 267-8600, ext. 214.

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