Commonwealth Health Tips to Prevent Type-2 Diabetes

Over 30 million Americans have Type-2 diabetes. If left untreated or unmanaged, the disease can damage all aspects of the cardiovascular system, cause blindness, heart disease, loss of limbs and other serious conditions.

While Type-2 diabetes is most often diagnosed in adults 45 and older with a family history of the disease or in those who are overweight or obese, the condition is now becoming more prevalent in children, teens and young adults. Fortunately, there are small lifestyle changes and habits that can help prevent this chronic condition in people of all ages while also improving overall health.

As the most common type of diabetes, Type-2 diabetes is when the body creates too much insulin or resists it, which causes blood sugar levels to rise.

“The reality is that there is no cure for Type-2 diabetes, so taking steps to prevent this disease is your best course of action,” says Neda Danniel, M.D., family medicine physician with Commonwealth Health Physician Network.  “Even small changes in lifestyle like taking a daily walk or drinking water instead of juice can help ward off a diagnosis and make a big impact on your health.” 

Dr. Danniel suggests four ways to prevent Type-2 diabetes.

  • Manage weight and belly fat: Excess weight in the abdomen and obesity are main causes of Type-2 diabetes. Experts recommend maintaining a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 and a waistline of less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men.

  • Exercise regularly: Daily exercise can help avoid heart disease, reduce stress and Type-2 diabetes. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, like walking or biking, and two strength workouts each week.

  • Move more: Additional movement beyond exercise can also help keep off weight. Consider taking the stairs rather than an elevator or standing during work meetings to add more movement into daily life.

  • Eat fresh food: Avoid overly processed foods like chips, candy and deli meats, and focus on foods rich in fiber and nutrients like fruits, vegetables and lean protein.

Unfortunately, Type-2 diabetes could take years to develop and symptoms are often hard to detect. If you experience extreme fatigue, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet or blurred vision, it is important to get tested.

To learn more about preventing Type-2 diabetes, or to schedule a wellness exam, visit

The YMCA Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a time for all Northeastern Pennsylvania residents to assess their risk for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Following a year of reduced activity due to COVID-19, statistics show prediabetes rates are on the rise. Currently, 96 million American adults (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes and 8 out of 10 of them do not know they have it. In addition to the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, people with prediabetes are also at risk of developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.
Prediabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. To address this issue, the Greater Scranton YMCA offers the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which helps overweight adults achieve moderate weight loss through healthier eating and increased physical activity, potentially preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a group-based lifestyle intervention for adults at high-risk of developing type 2 diabetes and has been shown to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes by 58 percent overall and by 71 percent in adults over 60.

“We know that adults with diabetes do not live as long as those without it, and that their medical expenses are over 2 times greater than others,” said Trish Fisher, President & CEO, Greater Scranton YMCA. “The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program 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 by taking a simple 1-minute risk 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.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) led National Diabetes Prevention Program, is a 12-month evidence-based program that features a lifestyle coach who helps participants learn tactics for healthy eating, physical activity and other lifestyle changes during 25, one-hour classroom sessions. Long-term program goals include reducing participants’ body weight by 5 to 7 percent and increasing physical activity to 150 minutes per week.

Nationally, more than 70,000 people participated in the program at over 1,100 sites in 47
states throughout the country. Participants who completed the year-long program lost an
average of 5.5 percent of body weight and completed an average of 168 minutes of physical
activity per week.

For more information about how to qualify for access to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention
Program, contact Brandon Whipple, Senior Program Director, at (570) 828-3116 or visit the
Y online at