November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

As diabetes rates continues to rise, few Lincoln County residents know they are at risk.
Posted:  Monday, November 6, 2017 - 8:45am
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The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, offered by the Boothbay Region YMCA and the Central Lincoln County YMCA in partnership with LincolnHealth, is encouraging residents of Lincoln 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, during National Diabetes Awareness Month.

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.

“As one of the leading community-based charities committed to improving the health of Lincoln County, the Y wants to all people to understand their risk for prediabetes and steps to take to avoid developing type 2 diabetes,” said Casey Clark Kelly, Program Coordinator of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. “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 race, 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.

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.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is helping to improve health through their year-long program, helping participants learn strategies and gain support to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle changes that will reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. Classes are forming now to begin meeting in Damariscotta and Boothbay in January of 2018. Classes will be built and scheduled based on participant availability. The program meets weekly for the first 16 sessions, and then transitions to a less frequent meeting schedule. Contact Casey Clark Kelley at 207-350-7026 or cclarkelley@clcymca.org to learn if you may be eligible and to enroll today.

For more information about any of the Y’s initiatives and programs, visit www.clcymca.org.