You can prevent Type 2 Diabetes!
As of 2017, local data for Tillamook County, shows that 12.6% of our local population has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That’s up from 11.2% in 2015. The CDC estimates that an additional 30% are at risk for prediabetes and most do not know they are at risk.
Prediabetes CAN be reversed and many of the same steps for reversing prediabetes can greatly improve disease management for people who already have type 2 diabetes.
Here are some ways you can take charge of your health:
1) Take the “Do I have prediabetes” risk test and schedule an appointment with your care provider if your score is 5 or higher.
2) Ask about the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) offered at the Tillamook YMCA, 610 Stillwell Ave. DPP is offered locally, free of charge, thanks to a partnership between the YMCA, Tillamook County Community Health Centers, Columbia Pacific CCO, Northwest Senior & Disability Services and the Oregon Wellness Network.]
3) Schedule an annual well visit with your primary care provider and ask to find out your risk for type 2 diabetes. A simple blood test, called an A1C, can be performed that will show average blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels over the past three months. Your healthcare provider may use your A1C to diagnose prediabetes or diabetes and to monitor your blood sugars over time. Most insurance plans cover the A1C test for individuals at risk of diabetes and prediabetes. Risk factors include having had gestational diabetes while pregnant, family history of type 2 diabetes, being overweight, having high blood pressure, and/or being physically inactive. Your physician can also refer you to a Registered Dietitian or a Certified Diabetes Educator, who can help you learn ways to use nutrition and lifestyle techniques to positively impact your health and blood sugar balance.
4) Begin to track and modify lifestyle habits, such as becoming more physically active, eating healthier, getting enough sleep and cutting out tobacco. These have been shown to drastically reduce risk for type 2 diabetes as well as improve disease management in people who already have it. Additionally, losing 5-7% of one’s body weight has also been shown to significantly reduce risk for type 2 diabetes. For someone who weighs 200 lbs., for example, that would mean losing 10-14 lbs.
5) Share your story. Talk to others about your health and seek out ways to make health behavior changes that will work for you. Ask family members, friends and co-workers to support you (and each other!) in efforts to improve lifestyle habits. Changes are made easier when we do them with others.
6) Know where to go. Keep your eyes and ears open to community programs, classes and resources that you can take advantage of to support your health. From Wellness Walking Groups to Cooking Matters Classes, there are many free, local activities and programs that support healthier lifestyles. Follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for inspiration and ideas.