By Greg Armstrong

Globally, there were an estimated 371 million people living with diabetes in 2012. Diabetes claimed the lives of 4.8 million people in 2012, half of which were under the age of 60. Perhaps the most alarming statistic is that 50 percent of diabetics are undiagnosed. What that means is that potentially, there are another 371 million people that don’t even know they have diabetes. Add to that, another 400-500 million that are currently in a pre-diabetic state. A position, with proper diet and exercise, that could stave off or dramatically postpone full blown diabetes.

So, again, who needs more information on diabetes? Just about everyone!

With the above numbers, we could easily predict that there is a potential for one in every three Americans to have diabetes or pre-diabetes within a few decades. So, what do we do? Should we wait until it is a problem for us to take action? The wise choice would be to take proactive action and learn what you can about diabetes now and what you can do to help prevent a progression of the disease.

Know your numbers. Now is a good time to know what your fasting blood glucose levels are and if available, know your A1C. The A1C level reflects your blood glucose levels for the past 60-90 days. Next, it is time to honestly evaluate your weight and how many extra pounds you are packing. Proper diet and losing weight perhaps will go to reducing your risk of Type II diabetes more than any other risk factor. Finally, seriously track your activity level. By purposely exercising 30 minutes a day for five days a week, you can put distance between you and diabetes.

A great opportunity to add to your diabetic knowledge is to attend the “Sweet Spot” classes. These FREE classes are held at 7 p.m. every fourth Monday at The Corner Cup Coffee House in downtown John Day. The informative classes are topical and cover many facets of diabetes. For more information, call 541-575-0629.

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