Diabetes Alert Day – Yes, I am talking to you!
March 27th marks Diabetes Alert Day. You might be wondering why this is important to you…
Most people living with diabetes are unaware. Currently 9.4% of Americans have diabetes, but almost a third of them do not know they have it. Another 34% of Americans have prediabetes, and almost all of them don’t know it. The Center of Disease Control (CDC) predicts by 2050, that 35% of Americans will have diabetes.
This means you or someone you know is walking around with elevated blood sugar levels and is at increase risk for heart attack and stroke. This isn’t meant to scare you, it is meant to “alert” you. Early detection along with lifestyle changes can prevent diabetes diagnosis or increase the potential for remission of diabetes.
5 ways to take action today:
1. Take this Diabetes Risk Quiz to learn more about your risk. Diabetes is a combination of our genetics and lifestyle behaviors. A few positive changes could make all the difference for those at risk or those living with prediabetes. Remember 9 out of 10 Americans with pre-diabetes don’t know it. Knowing your risk is the first step.
- Take the Diabetes Risk Quiz online here or print off quiz here.
- Share this quiz with your family and friends. You might change their lives.
2. Know your Numbers: Ask your provider to check your fasting blood glucose level and A1c. These are both numbers that are used to diagnose both prediabetes and diabetes. Check the ranges for diagnosis below.
- PreDiabetes: A1c of 5.7-6.4% or fasting blood glucose of 100-125mg
- Diabetes: A1c of 6.5% + or Fasting blood glucose of 126 or greater
3. Lower your Risk.
- Healthy Weight: Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight decreases your risk. Even a modest amount of weight loss, 5-10% can decrease your risk of diabetes by more than half. Need help reaching your goals? Schedule an appointment with a local registered dietitian.
- Physical Activity: Being active on a regular basis can lower your blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Have your provider check your levels.
- Quit Smoking – Smokers with diabetes have a higher risk for serious complications caused by diabetes.
4. Do you have prediabetes? Join a diabetes prevention program near you. Developing type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be a sure thing. Through nutrition and exercise, prediabetes can be reversed. Stop by your local YMCA of Western North Carolina to register for a class.
5. Diagnosed with diabetes? Ask your doctor to refer you to a diabetes program. Getting plugged in with a dietitian, pharmacist, eye care professional, dentist and others is vital to managing your diabetes well.
Did you learn something new today? Please share this post with someone!
The blog post was written by: Christina Fogarty MS, RDN, LDN.
Christina is a registered dietitian nutritionist in Arden, NC. She is a diabetes health coach and works with individuals who have diabetes to better manage their health. Email her here: ChristinaFogartyRDN@gmail.com