A health concern for Yoopers

EDITOR:

What hidden health disorder does one out of three Yooper adults and 50 percent of the U.P. elders have in common? They all have prediabetes and only 10 percent even realize that they have a serious medical condition.

Why should they care about prediabetes? Prediabetes puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and having a heart attack or stroke. In fact, many will develop type 2 diabetes within the next 5 years unless they:

– Get tested for prediabetes and

– Take action to treat their prediabetes

If you are over the age of 45, make sure you have had a fasting blood glucose test (that is a simple and inexpensive test you can have done at the lab), and that you know what your number is. Also, if you are a younger adult and are overweight and have another diabetes/prediabetes risk factor like high blood pressure, not very active or close family history of diabetes, ask your provider about getting a fasting blood glucose test.

A fasting glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL, indicates that you probably have prediabetes. Some medications like metformin have been shown to help treat prediabetes. An even more effective treatment is losing a little weight (5 to 7 percent of your body weight) and getting 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.

Since making lifestyle changes can be difficult, UPDON has worked with agencies around the U.P. to help expand access to Diabetes Prevention (Weight Loss) Programs. These programs consist of 22 sessions delivered over a 1 year period of time and have been shown to help people lose weight and get more active. Just doing those two things can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%. The news is even better for seniors who can lower their risk by 71 percent.

This November, during Diabetes Awareness Month, find out what your fasting blood glucose level is and take action to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Ann Constance

Marquette