Type 2 diabetes – are you at risk?

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Spring and warmer weather have finally arrived.  The new beginnings of spring are a great time to take steps to become a new, healthier you! Whether that’s changing the way that you move, how you eat or learning to manage stress better, you can change your course to preventing type 2 diabetes.

What is type 2 Diabetes?

Eighty-six million Americans now have prediabetes – that’s 1 out of 3 adults!  Of those 86 million, 9 out of 10 people don’t even know they have it, and without intervention, 15-30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years.

Prediabetes is a condition with several factors involved.  Generally, having prediabetes means your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal but not necessarily high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Other risk factors include:

–          being overweight

–          45 years of age or older

–          your parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes

–          you are physically active fewer than 3 times per week

–          you have given birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds

–          you have ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes)

–          Race and ethnicity can also affect your risk  African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders and some Asian Americans are at a higher risk.

Prediabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.  The good news is that it can be reversed. The Prevent T2 program offered by the National Diabetes Prevention Program is designed to do exactly that.

Recently, I had the pleasure of leading a Prevent T2 class as a certified Lifestyle Coach for Mesa County Public Health.  This program is a research-based, and designed to help people with prediabetes (also known as type 2) prevent developing diabetes.  It brings together partners from the public and private health sectors to deliver lifestyle change, incorporating strategies for:

–          healthy eating

–          physical activity

–          stress management

–          coping strategies

The in-person programs offer face to face meeting opportunities with a trained Lifestyle Coach as well as others who are participating in the group.  It’s been a great year watching my participants grow more comfortable with their lifestyle changes, learning to eat better and move more often.  Most importantly, it’s been amazing to watch this program in action. You can choose to be part of something bigger. You can choose to be a healthier you.  You can absolutely prevent diabetes with lifestyle change!

If you think you may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, there are two classes starting in our community in May.  To learn more about the program and sign-up for a class, attend one of the following information sessions:

Monday, April 24th, 10-12pm, drop-in

Fruita Community Center

324 North Coulson, Fruita

 

Wednesday, April 26th, 11 am- noon

Crossroads Fitness, North

2768 Compass Drive, Grand Junction

Still not sure if this program is for you? Here are what some participants across the nation had to say about Prevent T2:

Cynthia, age 54

“It’s not about how long you live, it’s about how well you live.”

Phyllis, age 53

“Having a group of people with the same goals as me really motivated me to jump start healthy lifestyle changes.”

After the death of my mother and a diagnosis of prediabetes, I was motivated to make healthy changes in my life to prevent type 2 diabetes. I was overweight and had high cholesterol, high glucose levels, and poor eating habits.I joined a lifestyle change program to take control of my life. During the program, I was surprised at how happy I was making healthy changes and how much I enjoyed learning from others in the group. I am now exercising regularly and learning strategies to cope with my emotional eating habits.

Bruce, age 52

“I love having a lifestyle coach. She has given us great information, helped me stay on track and stay positive!”

When my glucose levels and blood pressure started to increase, I knew I had to do something to reduce my risk of developing type 2 diabetes. When I mentioned my concerns to a friend, she told me about this lifestyle change program. I love the support and encouragement I get from the other program participants and the lifestyle coach. I enjoy making lifestyle changes such as cutting back on red meat and sugary drinks. I now keep my bike at work and take lunch-break rides around town to stay active!

Jan, age 60

“I’ve worked in medical research my entire adult life but always had a difficult time managing my weight. This program has taught me how to eat healthy and find an exercise routine that works for my schedule.”

As a medical librarian in a hospital, I knew I needed to make changes to my lifestyle to stay out of the hospital as a patient—but I had a hard time actually doing it. Then I found this lifestyle change program. I was motivated to join the program to make sure I could play with my grandchildren for many years to come. I enjoy the program because I have met many people who also struggle with diet and exercise. We share healthy recipes and motivate each other to exercise. I now read food labels and ride a stationary bike for an hour a day. I am looking forward to a long, healthy life with my children and grandchildren.

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