Take a prediabetes risk assessment.
A Quick Chat with Shelly Stroud
Meet Shelly. While at the University City YMCA, she took a free risk assessment for prediabetes and eventually received a diabetes blood sugar screening at the McCrorey YMCA, both part of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. Her screening results suggested she was at-risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and has since enrolled in a Diabetes Prevention Program with Carolinas HealthCare System and the YMCA.
What was your motivation for even taking the prediabetes risk assessment to begin with?
I knew Type 2 diabetes is serious, and I have a predisposition for getting it because of my weight, family history and race. I also have a supportive family that inspires me to continue to remain healthy, so I wanted to find out if there were changes I needed to make.
When you found out you are at risk for diabetes, what was your reaction?
I wasn't surprised that my blood sugar results were in the prediabetic range, due to the fact my father and brother are diabetic and the lifestyle choices I had made. I wanted to be proactive and prevent the onset of diabetes.
What is the Diabetes Prevention Program like?
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it has really made a difference for me! They taught us how to keep track of our fat grams, which is important. I’ve learned how to prepare food in a healthy way – I now bake, broil and limit fried foods to a minimum. And, because it’s an encouraging environment, I’ve been able to get into a more regular schedule of staying active. All of those things are helping me feel better and have helped me successfully lower my blood sugar to a normal range. And that’s the point.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious and costly health problems if not treated. However, the risk can be reversed if identified and tackled early.
What was the goal of the challenge?
Through an effort dubbed "Pre-D Challenge: Reverse the Risk," Carolinas HealthCare System partnered with YMCA of Greater Charlotte to reduce the rate of prediabetes in the community.
The challenge was to engage 50,000 people to complete a risk assessment within one year, with a goal of identifying 10,000 individuals at risk for developing prediabetes or diabetes.
Did Carolinas HealthCare System meet the goal?
Is it over?
The challenge is over, but Carolinas HealthCare System is more committed than ever to continue helping those at risk prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes!
How can I find out if I’m at risk?
Follow a three-step process:
Whether you are at risk or not, learning more about diabetes is important. That's because Type 2 diabetes is one of the most important health challenges we face in the United States. You probably know someone - a family member, neighbor, coworker - who struggles with the disease. Understanding how diabetes affects individuals and the population as a whole is the first step in reversing the risk. Consider:
Prediabetes: The diabetes wake-up call
If you have prediabetes, then your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as having diabetes. People with prediabetes usually don't see many signs or symptoms. Knowing your risk allows you to make the necessary lifestyle changes to reverse the risk of diabetes. The likelihood of developing full-blown diabetes, in the next 10 years, increases by 50 percent, if you have prediabetes. Some people with prediabetes will progress to diabetes even sooner.
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are very different
While there are definite similarities between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes - namely, they both involve elevated levels of blood glucose - they are very different in terms of scope. Type 1 is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. It accounts for less than 10 percent of all diabetes cases in the United States. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, occurs in children and adults and is usually the result of obesity and inactivity. Carolinas HealthCare System's "Reverse the Risk" Pre-D Challenge is focused primarily on Type 2 diabetes.
Who gets Type 2 diabetes?
A diabetes diagnosis is determined by measuring your blood glucose level. Usually, people who are 45 and older, inactive, obese, or have a family history have the highest rates of diabetes.
However, in recent years, more children and young adults have tested positive for Type 2 diabetes.
How is diabetes tested?
One of the best ways to test for high blood sugar rates is the A1C test. A blood sugar level of 6.5 percent or more means you have diabetes. There are other tests, including the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test which tests your blood sugar level after abstaining from food or water for eight hours.
Managing Type 2 diabetes depends on lifestyle changes more than anything else. A balanced diet and regular exercise are the best ways to control diabetes. Medications can also help manage diabetes. The bottom line: The more weight a diabetic loses, the lower the blood sugar and therefore the less risk of complications from diabetes. Talk to your doctor before beginning a weight-loss program.