This Black History Month, understand your health history and reshape your destiny, especially when it comes to prediabetes. As an African American, there are 5 things you should know:
- African Americans are at a higher risk for prediabetes than non-Hispanic whites, especially if type 2 diabetes runs in their family. Around 36% of African Americans have prediabetes, where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Take your knowledge of high risk and kick type 2 diabetes out of the family tree now.
- Learning if you’re at risk for prediabetes is the first step toward a healthier destiny. Prediabetes risk increases if someone has a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes, is 45 years old or older, is overweight, is physically active fewer than 3 times per week, or had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds. See your doctor for a prediabetes blood sugar test, and ask any family and friends living with these risk factors to get tested too.
- Prediabetes is a serious condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes and other health problems. These could include heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and loss of toes, feet, or legs.
- You can reverse prediabetes. Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be a part of your future. You can reverse prediabetes with healthy lifestyle changes like eating healthier, getting more physical activity, and managing stress. Here are some things you can do now:
- Grab a friend and go for a brisk walk or jog.
- Put on some music and dance.
- Try a healthy twist on family recipes like grandma’s classic sweet potato pie, momma’s collard greens, or your favorite auntie’s potato salad. You can also try choosing healthy foods at the buffet table at family events.
- You can take action to prevent type 2 diabetes. If you find out that you have prediabetes or have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, there is something you can do. Studies show that people with prediabetes who take part in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle change program can reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes by 50%.
The Wellness Coalition offers a lifestyle change program in Montgomery and surrounding counties that can help you learn the skills you need to lose weight, become more physically active, and manage stress.
There Is No Cost To You
You’ll get your very own coach to teach you how to eat healthy foods and increase your physical activity. And when you’re having a rough day and feel like slipping back into your old habits, your classmates will be there to keep you on track.
This program meets for 1 year with weekly meetings for the first 4 months, and meetings twice a month for the following 8 months, to help maintain your healthy lifestyle changes. Call (334) 293-6502 to find out when classes are available and how you can join! You can also take a risk test and sign up at http://bit.ly/2yFGDDM.
It’s time to kick diabetes out of the family tree!