Prevent Diabetes KC
Steve, a fifty-something, metro Kansas City man was on a quest to get healthier and prevent diabetes. He was overweight, suffered from osteoarthritis and had a family history of type 2 diabetes. Steve was determined to find help to achieve his goal of losing 60 pounds and not follow in his family’s footsteps down the path to type 2 diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food that a person eats is turned into glucose, or sugar, for a body to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes insulin that helps the glucose enter the body’s cells. When a person has diabetes, their body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in the blood. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and loss of toes, feet or legs.
So What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes means the blood glucose (sugar) level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are on the path to develop type 2 diabetes and are also at increased risk for serious health problems such as stroke and heart disease. 15-30 percent of people with prediabetes who do no change their lifestyle – by losing weight (if needed) and being more physically active – will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.
Approximately 86 million adults in America have prediabetes; about 1 in every 3 people. However, nearly 90 percent of adults who have prediabetes don’t know they have it.
Are you at Risk?
Take the test at preventdiabeteskc.com to find out if you are at risk for prediabetes. It’ll only take a minute. You won’t regret it.
Preventing Diabetes is Key
Just because it says “pre” diabetes you shouldn’t be fooled into thinking it’s no big deal right now. You can start taking steps today to help prevent prediabetes from becoming type 2 diabetes. You can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke associated with prediabetes.
Here are a few steps you can take today to lower your risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Manage your weight
- Losing just 5-7 percent of your body weight can slow or even reverse prediabetes.
- Staying at this healthy weight over time is very important to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
- Get active
- Get at least 150 minutes of light aerobic activity every week. Such as a brisk 30 minute walk 5 days per week. Even 10 minutes at a time adds up. Just start moving.
- Find simple ways to be more active throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away when you are out running errands or if you sit at a desk all day at work get up every hour and take a walk to the water fountain.
- Eat healthier
- Read food labels. The more you know what goes into your food, the better decisions you’ll be able to make.
- Fill your grocery basket with vegetables. Roasting vegetables in your oven gives them a caramelized exterior and flavor while keeping them moist and tender. Try this recipe for roasted vegetables
- Quit smoking
- Visit KanQuit for helpful resources and programs to help you quit smoking.
In part 2 of the Prevent Diabetes series, you will find out what Steve did to help prevent type 2 diabetes and learn more about what steps you can take to lower your risk.