Are you headed for Diabetes? Time to take a different route!

by Crystal Hernandez

Imagine you’re driving down the road. You see a sign that the bridge up ahead is closed. You decide moving forward along this path is not safe, so you choose a different route. What if your body is displaying signs the road ahead is not safe? Do blood tests reveal your glucose levels are above the normal range? Are you sedentary and above your healthy body weight? Are you seeing indications that you’ll develop type 2 diabetes and other health problems if you continue along this path? The YMCA can help you map out a new route toward a healthier future. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease.

The number of Americans with diabetes is 29.1 million. That’s a big number, but even bigger is the number of Americans that have prediabetes: 86 million. But only 10% of those know of their risk status. Without weight loss and moderate physical activity, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, nontraumatic lower limb amputations, and new cases of blindness among adults in the U.S. The risk for stroke and heart attack is 2-4 times higher in individuals with diabetes. The disease accounts for 17% of all deaths for adults older than 25. If dollar signs impact you more, let me share with you what that might look like. The average annual out-of-pocket medical cost for someone without diabetes is about $3,670. However, for the person with diabetes and its related medical conditions, that cost could be more than $17,000!

Maybe that’s the motivation you need to see where your body’s GPS is leading you. If so, schedule a visit with your doctor. Simple blood tests can tell you whether you need to turn around and take a different route by enrolling in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Results from blood tests that are in the prediabetes range, (tests include A1-C or fasting glucose),or a previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes will qualify you for the program. You must have a BMI of 25 or higher and be over the age of 18 to participate. If you are unable to access a blood test, take the risk quiz to find out whether you are at high risk. Individuals who score a 9 or higher on the risk quiz are also eligible for the program.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program uses a Center for Disease Control (CDC) -approved curriculum and is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Program. The 12-month program is facilitated by a trained lifestyle coach that helps you and other classmates begin to make the changes needed to reduce your risk of developing diabetes. The program focuses on helping participants reduce their body weight by 7% and increase their physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week.  Cost for the whole 12-month program is $429.  Click here for a flyer.

If you’re ready to change the direction of your health, the YMCA can help. For more information on when the next session will begin, contact Chronic Disease Prevention Specialist Crystal Hernandez at (254) 776-6612 or [email protected].

crystal hernandez2This Act Locally Waco blog post was written by Crystal Hernandez. Crystal is the Chronic Disease Specialist for the Waco Family YMCA. She received her degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from the University of Memphis. She and husband Shawn are blessed to be the parents of 4 beautiful children. In her free time, she loves hitting the pavement and pounding out a good run.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.

DISCLAIMER: [YMCA] and the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Association of the United States of America (“YMCA of the USA”) have made a commitment to collaborate with the nation’s YMCAs on efforts to support a national movement to increase awareness and take measures to prevent diabetes and its complications among groups at risk, and to help support treatment outcomes for individuals who have confirmed diagnoses or indications of prediabetes by promoting an effective lifestyle change. YMCA of the USA nor any YMCA offering the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program warrants or guarantees any specific outcomes for program participants with respect to diabetes prevention.]




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