From weight management to partnering with the YMCA, Carolinas HealthCare System offers an array of programs designed to help you manage diabetes. And we are continually adding new programs.
Primary care doctors, endocrinologists, nurses and nutritionists: When you have diabetes, a multi-faceted team of medical professionals makes all the difference.
Why is Carolinas HealthCare System initiating this diabetes challenge?
Type 2 diabetes is a national public health epidemic, affecting 29 million Americans and about 1 million people across the Carolinas. Nearly 1 in 4 people with diabetes doesn't know they have it, and 9 out of 10 people with prediabetes are completely unaware of their condition.
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 is the goal of the challenge?
Through an effort dubbed "Pre-D Challenge: Reverse the Risk," Carolinas HealthCare System is partnering with YMCA of Greater Charlotte to reduce the rate of prediabetes in the community.
The challenge is to engage 50,000 people to complete a risk assessment this year with a goal of identifying 10,000 individuals who are at risk for developing prediabetes or diabetes.
When did the challenge launch?
In celebration of National Diabetes Month, Carolinas HealthCare System and the YMCA launched the challenge on November 1, 2013 and will complete it on November 1, 2014.
How does the challenge work?
Participants follow a three-step process:
How much will this cost and how will this be funded?
Costs for the risk assessments, information sessions and screenings will be covered jointly by Carolinas HealthCare System and YMCA of Greater Charlotte. There are many diabetes prevention programs offered in the community, many of which are offered for free or for a small fee.
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.
Learn more about Type 2 diabetes in this interactive application. Learn about the basics, medications, food and exercise.
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.