Starting Today, Know Your Risk and Stop Diabetes Now

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Today, March 23rd, is the 22nd annual celebration of American Diabetes Association Alert Day. Celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of every March, the ADA encourages the American public to learn what they can do to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. The goal is to recruit one million people to join “Stop Diabetes” by the end of 2010.

Currently there are 23.6 million Americans living with diabetes and an additional 57 million who are at risk. Some may even have “pre-diabetes” and not even be aware for up to 5 to 10 years after the onset of the condition. During this time damage is already occurring to blood vessels and organs. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to preventing diabetic complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, limb amputation, and death.

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The first step you can take is to understand your risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. Those who are overweight, under active (sedentary lifestyle), and over the age of 45 are at risk. Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 5 to 7% of body weight through a healthy diet and regular physical activity of 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

To help you with your exercise efforts, Gold’s Gym, one of the sponsors of the ADA Alert Day, is offering the public a free “Getting Fit 101” guide on starting an exercise program. The company is also kicking off its preparation and recruitment for the 2010 Tour De Cure, the American Diabetes Association’s signature cycling event. In addition Gold’s Gym is offering a way to get fit and support the ADA with a special discounted membership. These can be found at www.goldsgym.com/ada.

For those already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health reminds Americans to follow the ABC’s. “A” means to find out your A1C, a blood test that evaluates your average blood sugar over the past 3 months. It is now considered one of the best diagnostic tools for glucose control. “B” is for blood pressure. Keeping blood pressure under control is essential for patients with diabetes to prevent kidney disease and stroke. “C” is for cholesterol. If you have not had a full lipid panel that includes total cholesterol, both LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, request one from your doctor today. Lowering cholesterol to within normal limits can help prevent heart disease.

You can join the movement to Stop Diabetes and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish), healthy lifestyle tips and more by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visiting stopdiabetes.com.

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