Prediabetes and you, a hidden risk

For the Troy Daily News

MIAMI COUNTY — Tuesday, March 27, is American Diabetes Association (ADA) Alert Day, and the Miami County YMCA wants residents of the community to know their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as preventive steps they can take today to reduce the chances of developing the disease.

In the United States alone, diabetes affects over 30 million people; another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it. These statistics are alarming, and the impact on the cost of health care (in 2012 alone, the ADA estimates that diabetes cost the health care system $245 billion) makes preventing the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes more important than ever before.

The nation’s struggle with obesity and type 2 diabetes is no surprise but the number of people with prediabetes is a growing issue, especially when so few people realize they have the condition. Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Often preventable, people with prediabetes can reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes by adopting behavior changes that include eating healthier and increasing physical activity. People with prediabetes are at risk for not only developing type 2 diabetes, but also cardiovascular disease, stroke and other conditions. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include family history, age, weight and activity level, among others.

“ADA Alert Day can serve as a wake-up call for people to learn their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes-conditions that are preventable if they take steps to improve their health,” said Heather Sever, Health and Wellness Director, Miami County YMCA-Piqua Branch. “Many people don’t realize they are at risk and finding out is not only good for your health, but good for your wallet too.”

The Miami County YMCA is helping people diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes through our Diabetes Education, Support & Self-Management Program. This is a free program for those that qualify through referral and we are currently enrolling participants. The first class starts on April 10th and this program includes 8 weeks of educational seminars, free personal training and membership with the Miami County YMCA during the 8 week program and for 6 months upon completion. Classes will be held at the YMCA’s Piqua Branch on Tuesday evenings from 6:30pm-7:30pm. This program is possible through funding from the United Way.

Some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and an increased focus on healthy living can decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes. Among these are:

• Reduce portion sizes of the foods you eat that may be high in fat or calories.

• Keep a food diary to increase awareness of eating patterns and behaviors.

• Be moderately active at least 30 minutes per day five days a week.

• Choose water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.

• Incorporate more activity in your day, like taking the stairs or parking farther away from your destination.

• Speak to your doctor about diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history of the disease or are overweight.

To learn more about the Miami County YMCA’s Diabetes Education, Support & Self-Management Program please visit our website at or contact Heather Sever at 773-9622 or