According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of people with diabetes has increased by 3 million in three years to a new high of 24 million. This means that almost 8 percent of people in the U.S. have diabetes. Almost a quarter of people over 65 years old have diabetes. In addition, 57 million people are at very high risk for developing diabetes (may have been told by their health provider that they have ‘pre-diabetes’).

Are you or someone in your family at risk for type 2 diabetes? Your risk is higher if you are over 45 years of age, especially if you are over your recommended weight. You are also at a higher risk if you are less than 45 years of age and have any one of these risk factors: physically inactive, have close relatives with diabetes, are a member of high-risk ethnic populations such as African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander; have delivered a baby weighing more than nine pounds; have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or triglycerides.

If you think you are at risk, ask your doctor or clinic for a fasting blood glucose test. Then, make sure you understand the results when they come back to you. Ask for a copy and keep that copy somewhere so you can find it and compare future results.

If you are told your results indicate you do have ‘pre-diabetes,’ is there anything you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes? Yes, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk. If you have diabetes and you want to learn more about how to make sure you do the best you can by keeping your blood glucose in the range recommended by the American Diabetes Association, plan to attend the “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” course, that will begin April 1. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will be conducting the 5-week course from 1:30-3:30 p.m. each Wednesday in April at the Senior Center, 122 Park Hills Drive, Waxahachie. The cost for the 5-week course is $10.00 per person.

During the “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” course, topics discussed will include:

-What is Diabetes?

-Nutrition: 1st Step to Diabetes Management

-One Diabetes Diet-No Longer the Sole Option

-Managing Your Blood Glucose

-Nutritional Labels

-Diabetes and Exercise

-For Good Measure at Home and Eating Out

-Medications

-Preventing and Managing Complications

You can register for the “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” course by calling 972/825-5175. Join the course and find out that you can do well and be well if you have diabetes.