Know the Risks: November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a time for all Quad City residents to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Currently, of the 84 million people with prediabetes only 10 percent know they have the condition. In addition to the high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people with prediabetes are also at risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.  According to the CDC, adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions or who already have diabetes, are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.

Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. To address this issue, the Prescott YMCA is offering a Total Lifestyle Change (TLC) class – which is framed after the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. The YMCA’s TLC Program helps adults at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, have high blood pressure, or who are overweight, adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.

The program provides a year-long supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about eating healthier, increasing their physical activity and making other behavior changes with the goal of reducing body weight by 7 percent in order to reduce their risk for developing diabetes. A trained lifestyle coach leads the program over a 12-month period. Increased physical activity and moderate weight loss not only reduce diabetes risk, but also have an impact on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Class will resume in January 2021 with limited availability.

Donna G. joined the TLC class in January 2019 and lost a total of 80 pounds. Donna said “I am learning that healthy eating and regular exercise is a lifestyle and I am reaping the benefits. I am no long pre-diabetic; my mobility has greatly improved and my medications are reduced. My doctors are amazed at my progress and results. I am not done yet and am continuing in the TLC program next year.” “We are excited to offer this class in January which gives members 12 months of accountability to help make positive changes,” says Mary Byrne, Health and Wellness Director.

“At the Y, we take a community integrated approach to improving health, meaning we move health care out of the clinic and into the community where people can more easily access the care they need,” said Mary Byrne, Health & Wellness Director, James Family Prescott YMCA.  “Currently much of our focus is on prevention programs like the YMCA’s Total Lifestyle Change Program that provides a safe and supportive environment where people can learn to change behaviors and potentially decrease chances of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.”

Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk for developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight, and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.

Nationally, more than 62,000 people participated in the program at more than 1,100 sites in 40 states throughout the country. Participants who completed the yearlong program lost an average of 5.5 percent of body weight and completed an average of 160 minutes of physical activity per week.

For more information about the James Family Prescott YMCA and their mission, visit or call Mary Byrne, Health and Wellness Director at 928-445-7221 or

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