November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a good time for people to gauge their risk for diabetes and to talk to their doctors. The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA is offering a free glucose screening at the South Tampa Family YMCA at 4411 South Himes Avenue on Saturday, Nov. 14th from 10am-1pm where a free brunch and t-shirt will be provided. Pre-registration is required for the Nov. 14 free glucose screening; call the South Tampa Y at 813.839.0210.
During the free screening, community members can learn about the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps adults lose 5-7 percent of body weight through healthier eating and increased physical activity that can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Tampa resident Anita Smith is a participant of the program. She is one of the more than 86 million people in the U.S. who have prediabetes, a condition in which individuals have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. This number is up from 79 million in 2010 and represents more than 1 in 3 Americans. People with prediabetes are at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and stroke.
During the yearlong Y Diabetes Prevention Program, a trained lifestyle coach helps participants learn how to adapt healthy eating, physical activity and other lifestyle changes. Participants meet monthly for added support in reaching their ultimate goals. The program has shown to prevent or delay new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent and as much as 71 percent in adults over the age of 60. Anita shares, “I have energy now. I’m not tired. It’s easier to move around.” Anita also happens to be a dress size smaller and more than 25 pounds lighter. “I’m losing about a pound a week. I feel so good. I’m getting older and I want to feel as good as I can for as long as I can,” testifies Anita.
“The number of new people with prediabetes continues to rise and with that the importance of helping Tampa Bay area residents understand what a prediabetes diagnosis means,” says Diabetes Prevention Program Director Bridget Piephoff. “Type 2 diabetes affects not just the person but entire families as well, but the good news is that it is possible to reverse course—simple lifestyle changes reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the Y can help people make the necessary changes to improve health.”
The Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program uses a CDC-approved curriculum and is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. The nationwide program is offered at 12 Tampa YMCA branches; as well as several community centers, corporate sites, and senior centers. To learn more about the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program, contactBridget.Piephoff@tampaymca.org or 813.922.2808.