Meet Derrell. At age 37, he discovered he had high triglycerides. Being relatively young and thinking he was invincible, Derrell gave it no further thought.
At age 74, his doctor put him on notice: “I will be treating you for diabetes if you do not lose weight and change your eating habits. Losing just five pounds will do you a world of good.”
This time, Derrell heeded the medical advice and went on to lose 35 pounds. However, his A1C tests, which measure a person's blood sugar for the previous 2-3 months, showed that his levels still weren't under control.
Involving the whole family
Two years later, Derrell learned about the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program. He decided that the time and cost of the program was nothing compared to the loss of his life. He knew that his family depended on him and that he owed this to them.
Derrell committed to the 12-week program, and his wife and granddaughter helped him track daily food intake and exercise using the journal and calorie and fat counter. Derrell and his wife were homeschooling their granddaughter and used this opportunity to help her learn about nutrition, math, language and physical fitness.
After three months in the YMCA’s program, Derrell learned to shift his thinking about weight loss from starving himself to eating correctly. He finally succeeded in lowering his A1C from 6.3 to 5.6. (Normal range is 5.6 and below; prediabetes range is 5.7-6.4; diabetes is 6.5 and above.)
Ninety percent do not know they are prediabetic
There are 29.1 million Americans currently living with diabetes. But did you know that there are 84 million people that have prediabetes—the precursor to type 2 diabetes—and only 9 million are aware of their condition?
Prediabetes has no symptoms, so it’s no wonder that 90 percent of people don't know of their condition. However, in a country plagued by obesity and chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, everybody knows somebody who may be at risk for or already suffers from one or more of these conditions. Do you know if you or your loved ones are at risk?
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and as a leading community-based organization committed to improving America’s health, the YMCA of Middle Tennessee encourages all community members to take control of their health and learn their risk for type 2 diabetes.
Get healthy with the Y
The good news is that diabetes does not have to be your destiny! Prediabetes can be reversed through lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity, making healthier food choices, and managing stress.