Simple Changes May Help to Prevent Diabetes

Learning she had prediabetes was probably the best thing, Angelina says, that ever happened to her. At 53, she had been steadily gaining weight and found it difficult to keep up with her grandchildren.

Prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels rise higher than normal, leading to risks of developing diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.

A Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (2013-14) by the Public Health Department showed that 10% of adults in Santa Clara County have been diagnosed with prediabetes. The Sourcewise Area Plan on Aging 2016-20, indicates that 10% of seniors aged 65+ are overweight; increasing their risk of developing prediabetes.

Collette LaSalle, Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Food Science, & Packaging at San Jose State University advises, “Losing 5-7% of your weight may correct or delay onset. At any age, we see benefits, especially with physical activity.” She adds that exercise can stabilize blood glucose levels.

Angelina decided that being active with her grandkids was important. She made changes to improve her blood sugar levels: limited carbs; ate smaller portions; drank more water; and eliminated soda. These changes may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 58%, according to a clinical trial by the National Diabetes and Prevention Program.

Connie Corrales, Director of the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program of Sourcewise, states, “Medicare does not require a copay or deductible for diabetic screening.” Additional coverage for Medicare beneficiaries at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes is authorized to begin on January 1, 2018.

Angelina reduced her risk for type 2 diabetes by altering her diet and lost 30 pounds.

A simple test is available to determine risk for prediabetes; visit www.doihaveprediabetes.org.

Learn more about diabetes prevention and management. Call a Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

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