Ending Type 2 Diabetes One Exercise, Nutrition, and Gardening Class at a Time

Millions of Americans Have Diabetes and Don’t Know It

In About the Program on March 18, 2011 at 10:54 AM

On Diabetes Alert Day, Take Action to Learn Your Risk

In observance of Diabetes Alert Day (March 22), the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and the Fair Haven Community Health Center’s Diabetes Prevention Program are encouraging people to take NDEP’s Diabetes Risk Test [http://ndep.nih.gov/resources/ResourceDetail.aspx?ResId=252] –available in English and Spanish –to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This one-day ‘wake-up call’ asks people across the nation to know their risk of diabetes.

 

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes – including 279,000 people in Connecticut. It is estimated that nearly one-third of the people with diabetes, or 90,000 Connecticut adults, do not know that they have the disease.  An estimated 79 million adults have pre-diabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing the disease.

 

“Diabetes is a serious disease, particularly when it is left undiagnosed or untreated,” said Dr. Anne Camp, Director of Fair Haven Community Health Center’s Diabetes Prevention Program. “Everyone should be aware of their risk for diabetes.  If you have a family history of diabetes – such as a mother, father, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes – or if you had diabetes during pregnancy – you need to know that you are at increased risk.”

 

Other risk factors for diabetes include being overweight, physically inactive, and being over the age of 45. Diabetes also is more common in African Americans, people of African Ancestry, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders.

 

If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation, and even death.  With early diagnosis and treatment, people with diabetes can delay or prevent the development of these health problems.

 

“If you are at risk for diabetes, the good news is that you can take action now to lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes by making – and maintaining – healthy lifestyle changes,” says Dr. Camp.

 

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing a small amount of weight – 5 to 7 percent (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) – and becoming more active. Action steps include making healthy food choices and being active at least 30 minutes, five days per week. One way to help people achieve their health goal is to write down everything they eat and drink and the number of minutes they are active each day. They should review their notes daily.

 

The Fair Haven Community Health Center Diabetes Prevention Program provides diabetes testing to all patients and their families who are at risk for diabetes. Patients who are prediabetic are then invited to participate in exercise, nutrition, and gardening classes at nearby John Martinez School and Chabaso Bakery.

 

To learn more about your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, check out NDEP’s Diabetes Risk Test, available in English and Spanish. Additional diabetes resources can be found on the NDEP website, www.YourDiabetesInfo.org. For more information about the Fair Haven Community Health Center Diabetes Prevention Program, call 203.777.7411 or go to www.diabetespreventionprogram.wordpress.com.

 

 

For more information on the Diabetes Prevention Program, go to diabetespreventionprogram.wordpress.org or contact Rebecca Kline r.kline@fhchc.org. The Fair Haven Community Health Center is a not-for-profit primary health care organization that has been dedicated to serving the greater Fair Haven Community since 1971.  We provide comprehensive health care – from prenatal to pediatric, adolescent to adult and geriatric.  Our mission is to provide excellent, accessible health care to the residents of our community, regardless of their ability to pay.

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services‘ National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations. Its Small Steps. Big Rewards Prevent Type 2 Diabetes. campaign communicates that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed through modest lifestyle changes.

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