Are you pre-diabetic? Find out now | Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

You could add years onto your life.

  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019 9:33am
  • Life

The following was written by Johanna Wolf, a health promotion coordinator, for the Tacoma-Pierce Count Health Department:

Are you one of the estimated 2 million people in Washington with pre-diabetes? We’re closing out National Diabetes Month, but we’re only at the beginning of the season of holiday eating. It’s a great time to assess your risk for pre-diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic disease caused when too much sugar overloads the cells in your body. Your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to convert all that sugar to energy, so you can get very sick.

The common types of diabetes are:

  • Type 1 generally occurs in childhood.
  • Type 2 develops later in life.

Most people with diabetes have Type 2.

Diabetes can cause all sorts of complications including eye problems, nerve damage and kidney disease. And if you have it, you’re at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Many people are at risk for diabetes because of things like:

  • High stress.
  • Being overweight
  • Eating processed foods.
  • Not getting enough exercise.

Many people who are pre-diabetic don’t know it. That means they might not be motivated to improve their health or seek the care they need to prevent complications. Take a quick quiz to find out if you’re at risk.

How did you score? If you’re like me, you may need to make some changes!

Knowing you have pre-diabetes can motivate you to make a few simple changes to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Knowledge is power!

If you are overweight, losing 5-7 percent of your body weight can make a real difference. Get started by exercising at least 150 minutes per week and eating healthier. Consider using a pedometer to count your steps. Many phones have apps for this.

If you need a little more motivation and enjoy a group setting, classes can help. We partner with community-based organizations like the YMCA to combat cardiovascular diseases with diabetes education and prevention classes. You’ll learn about small, simple changes that can make a big difference. Your insurance might even cover it.

So, get out there and move! Walk! Bike! Run! Dance! Eat more veggies!

If you invest in yourself now, you could reap the dividends of many more years of good health ahead of you.

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