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Avoiding "the Pinch": A Guide to Diabetes Prevention and Management

By Valeria Tenreiro, YMCA Executive Director & MS in Exercise Science

Diabetes, a chronic condition impacting over 29 million people globally, has witnessed a staggering rise from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. This surge has been particularly pronounced in low and middle-income countries. Prediabetes serves as an early warning, urging us to take action and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of addressing prediabetes and share practical tips to avoid "a pinch" by preventing or delaying diabetes.

Beyond the statistics, diabetes delivers a pinch that goes beyond the immediate discomfort. From blindness and kidney failure to heart attacks, strokes, lower limb amputation, and a 3% increase in mortality between 2000 and 2019, the impact is significant. This blog post emphasizes the urgency of taking preventive measures.

Prevention Strategies:

  • Know Your Numbers:
    • Regularly monitor your blood sugar levels to stay informed about your health status.
  • Learn Your ABCs:
    • A1C Test: Gauge your average blood sugar levels over the past three months.
    • Blood Pressure (B)
    • Cholesterol (C): Keep these vital signs in check to reduce diabetes-related risks.
  • Mind Your Medicine:
    • If prescribed medication, adhere to your treatment plan to manage diabetes effectively.
  • Be a Regular:
    • Schedule routine checkups to stay on top of your ABCs and ensure early detection of any potential issues.
  • Keep Good Vision in Sight:
    • Regular eye checkups are crucial, as diabetes can lead to vision problems and blindness.
  • Smile for the Dentist:
    • Oral health is connected to diabetes, so maintain good dental hygiene and attend regular dental checkups.
  • Roll Up Your Sleeves for Your Yearly Flu Shot:
    • Protect yourself from additional health complications by staying up-to-date with vaccinations.
  • Follow Your Feet:
    • Regularly check your feet for any signs of complications related to diabetes, such as nerve damage or poor circulation.

Preventing diabetes and managing its risks involves a proactive approach to your health. By adopting these lifestyle changes and monitoring key indicators, you can take control of your well-being, reduce the risk of complications, and enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Remember, small steps today can lead to significant improvements in your future health.