Carolinas HealthCare System
Prediabetes: Know Your Risk, Manage Your Health.

November, 2013: Carolinas HealthCare System Issued a Challenge

Take a prediabetes risk assessment.

The result?

  • More than 53 thousand took the test.
  • More than 27 thousand were identified at risk.
  • Meet one, and find out what she’s doing about it. Her name is Shelly.

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.

Programs & Expertise


Enroll in a DPP class
From weight management to partnering with the YMCA, Carolinas HealthCare System offers an array of programs designed to help you manage diabetes.
  • Diabetes Prevention Program – A trained lifestyle coach leads a small group of participants in learning about healthy eating, physical activity and other healthy behaviors during 16 sessions. Participants then meet monthly for added support to help maintain their progress. View a video to learn more about Diabetes Prevention Program.
  • Lifestyle Management and Medical Referral Program – Lifestyle Management and Medical Referral Program – Carolinas HealthCare System and the YMCA of Greater Charlotte are partnering to provide you with a team of experts to help improve your overall health. Programming includes a focus on weight management, fitness instruction and a medical review to give you a comprehensive approach to building a healthier lifestyle.
  • Weight management – Programming designed to provide guidance for your success during your weight loss journey. On-site and virtual weight loss options are available to give you a comprehensive plan which is easy to follow in today’s busy world.


Learn more about diabetes
You may not even know you have diabetes. Symptoms can take years to appear. Learn more about it.
Primary care doctors, endocrinologists, nurses and nutritionists: When you have diabetes, a multi-faceted team of medical professionals makes all the difference.
  • NCQA providers – More than 261 Carolinas HealthCare System doctors are honored by NCQA for providing quality diabetes care.
  • Electronic medical records – Nurses, doctors and dietitians can access your medical record to help manage the complexity of the disease.
  • Certified diabetes educators – Specially trained providers help you understand diabetes and teach ways to relieve the burden of the disease.
  • Shared medical appointments – Get more time with a diabetes doctor and support from your peers.
Type 2 diabetes is a 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.

About the Challenge

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?
Yes! As of November 1, 2014, over 53 thousand people have taken the prediabetes risk assessment and more than 27 thousand have been identified as at risk for developing prediabetes or diabetes.

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:

  1. Take a short online risk assessment to find out if you are at risk for developing diabetes. The risk assessment can also be taken by calling 704-512-3971.
  2. If the assessment score indicates you are at risk, the next step is to make an appointment with your primary care doctor to learn more about your current risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes 101

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:

  • Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease, blindness, kidney disease and stroke.
  • Eight percent of all Americans have diabetes; 1 in 4 people who has diabetes doesn't know it.
  • 86 million Americans have prediabetes. Diabetes is preventable through simple lifestyle changes, such as nutrition and exercise.

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 diabetes

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.

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