Citizens on diabetic alert this Tuesday

Published 9:10 pm Saturday, March 24, 2018

Diabetes doesn’t give much warning. Victims often don’t know they’re diabetic until health complications send them to the hospital. The only way to ensure they’re safe is to be screened for the disease.

That’s why the American Diabetes Association will once again recognize Diabetes Alert Day this Tuesday, and why the Suffolk Family YMCA staff will help citizens get screened.

“ADA Alert Day can serve as a wake-up call for people to learn their risk for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes — conditions that are preventable if they take steps to improve their health,” Sarah Crouch, association director of healthy living for YMCA of South Hampton Roads, stated on ymcashr.org.

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A1C screenings will be available at the Suffolk Family YMCA on Godwin Boulevard from 9 a.m. to noon this Tuesday. These screenings are available to any members of the community.

There also will be group classes to raise diabetes awareness. Members will “box out diabetes” in boxing classes and “tread off diabetes” in the pool, Crouch said in a phone interview.

“On Wednesday, we’re going to be doing grocery shopping tours for people,” Crouch said. “We’re going to be showing people how to shop healthy on a budget.”

Participants will learn to shop healthier in the morning and afternoon this Wednesday, and Walmart will provide free blood pressure and glucose screenings from 4 to 7 p.m.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to learn about health risks you may not know you have,” Crouch said.

An estimated 7.2 million Americans with diabetes remain undiagnosed, according to the ADA. In addition, 84 million American adults have prediabetes, in which their blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

Nine out of 10 people with prediabetes don’t know they have it, and prediabetes almost always precedes a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

“You can lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes with healthy food choices, weight loss, exercise and medication, but knowing your risk is the first step,” Deanie Eldridge, Virginia area executive director for the ADA, wrote in an email. “We’re asking Americans to take the one-minute test to find out if they’re at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, and we hope participants will share the test with friends and family.”

The Hampton Roads ADA will hold one of its biggest annual fundraisers in Suffolk this April.

The 2018 Hampton Roads Tour de Cure will take place on April 28, beginning and ending at the Suffolk Executive Airport. The route options are 12, 30, 63 and 100 miles. There will also be a 5K run and walk for those that don’t wish to ride.

There is a $25 registration fee and a $200 fundraising minimum. The registration fee will go up to $30 on April 1. The fundraising goal is $450,000, and approximately $222,766 has been raised as of Saturday.

Visit diabetes.org/hrtdc or call 424-6662 ext. 3269 for more information.