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November is American Diabetes Month
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November is American Diabetes Month

     Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. One in 11 Americans have diabetes – that’s more than 29 million people. And another 86 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

     To raise awareness about diabetes and healthy living, Will County Health Department is proudly participating in American Diabetes Month. In Will County, 9.9% of adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. Many adults have prediabetes, which means their blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

     If you do have prediabetes, research shows that doing just two things can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes: Lose 5% to 7% of your body weight, which would be 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person; and get at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity, such as brisk walking.

     Consider participating in a Diabetes Prevention Program. Diabetes Prevention Programs are lifestyle change programs offered through the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which is led by the CDC and can help you reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58%. Trained lifestyle coaches lead classes to help participants improve their food choices, increase physical activity, and learn coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes. Locally, the Greater Joliet Area YMCA and the Will Grundy Medical Clinic are offering Diabetes Prevention Programs. For the YMCA program visit their website for more information on the program or to learn how to register click here. For information about the Will-Grundy Medical Clinic program call (815) 726-3377.

     “Prediabetes and diabetes health conditions that can be effectively managed by doing two things:  eating healthy foods and regular exercise.  Find a program and get started today, said Sue Olenek, executive director of the WCHD.”

     If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or are age 45 or older, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that making healthy changes can greatly lower your risk. To help prevent type 2 diabetes:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Get more physical activity.

For more information about how to prevent Diabetes Type 2, visit http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/prediabetes-type2/index.html.

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