AMERICAN DIABETES MONTH – ARE YOU AT RISK?By Leslie Terjesen on Monday, November 14, 2016
“Losing weight and being healthier seem to be at the top of everyone’s concerns,” stated Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “But, despite the best intentions, work, kids, and social events often push lifestyle changes to the bottom of the list. While many are familiar with type 2 diabetes, fewer are aware of pre-diabetes, a serious health condition that affects 86 million Americans (more than 1 in 3) and often leads to type 2 diabetes. People with pre-diabetes have higher than normal blood glucose (sugar) levels, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.”
Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator, said, “Nearly 90 percent of people with pre-diabetes don’t know they have it and aren’t aware of the long-term risks to their health, including type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Current trends suggest that, if not treated, 15 to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. The good news is that pre-diabetes often can be reversed through weight loss, diet changes and increased physical activity. Diagnosis is key: research shows that once people are aware of their condition, they are much more likely to make the necessary lifestyle changes.”
A campaign launched by the American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a simple but strong message: No one is excused from pre-diabetes. People are encouraged to take a short online test at the following site called DoIHavePrediabetes.org to learn their risk.
“Awareness is crucial in the effort to stop type 2 diabetes,” said Regenye. “Take one minute to take the risk test today and share it with your loved ones. The pre-diabetes risk test will help you know where you stand and help you get closer to a life free of diabetes. Knowing that you have pre-diabetes is just the first step in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. As soon as someone discovers they may be at risk of pre-diabetes, they should talk with their physician about further testing to confirm their diagnosis and discuss the necessary lifestyle changes needed to help prevent type 2 diabetes.”
For the 86 million Americans with pre-diabetes, it is important to know to take action – NOW. You can talk to your health care provider and learn practical, real-life changes and cut their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
Please visit the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org for health updates or follow the Health Department on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like the Health Department on Facebook.