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Diabetes Alert Day: What is your Risk?

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March is a great month to promote diabetes awareness in your firm because the American Diabetes Association (ADA) celebrates “Diabetes Alert Day” on March 22nd. The goal of the American Diabetes Association is to encourage Americans to monitor their risk of having Type 2 Diabetes and help individuals take the appropriate measures to prevent the disease. The ADA has put together a Risk Test that you can pass along to employees to complete and learn what your risks may be.

In addition to making individuals aware of their risk, the ADA wants to inspire you to begin a “walking tradition” within your firm by joining them for a “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes” event. There are several opportunities to join the community in a walk, and dates can be found here. If you are looking for a walk/run to get your firm involved in, this would be a great opportunity. Or, you can always create your own type of challenge that you run within your firm. All employees of ACEC Life/Health Trust are participating in a Fitbit walking challenge to see who can get the most steps. Our challenge ran from March 14 to March 18 and of the 6 employees that participated, we were able to walk a total of 217,239 steps.

According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes. In that same year, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; up from 79 million in 2010 (ADA, 2014).  Since beginning our biometric screening offerings in July 2012 to present, 16.4% of Designed Wellness participants found out that their fasting glucose levels were borderline or high. It’s important to continue these regular preventive measures to be aware of your risk level and take the opportunity to improve in this area if necessary. Over the past four years, we have seen 28.1% of participants improve their fasting glucose measurement.

Type 2 Diabetes is where insulin is not produced properly within the body. It is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medications (pills), and insulin (ADA, 2015). Many people are able to control their blood sugar with a balanced healthy diet and exercise. Log onto the Designed Wellness portal for tips on eating healthy, get moving, and ways to involve your family in a healthy lifestyle.

Type 1 Diabetes used to be called juvenile diabetes as it mostly occurred in kids and young adults. Of those living with Diabetes, only about 5% of them have Type 1 Diabetes (ADA, 2016). Insulin, blood glucose control, exercise, and healthy eating habits all work together to control Type 1 Diabetes. It is also important to have a good support system in place and encourage children and adults living with this, to live a healthy lifestyle and understand what is happening.

When you complete your Designed Wellness Biometric Screening, your fasting glucose levels are tested. This can help you determine your risk factors for diabetes and if you should consult your physician for more monitoring or guidance. Please note, if you already have been diagnosed with diabetes, the screening should not be the only tool to be used for checking your levels. Please follow the protocol your physician has set up for you.

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