According to the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), they are estimating that at least 7.7% (or 335,000) of Indiana adults, were told by a doctor or other health professional that they have prediabetes.
What is Prediabetes?
Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have higher than normal blood glucose levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes. If you have prediabetes, you are at a high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Within the next five years,15-30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes. Once a person has been diagnosed with diabetes, it can be managed, but it never goes away.
Am I at Risk for Prediabetes? Take the Risk Test here:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) online Prediabetes Screening Test
- American Diabetes Association's Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test
What Can I Do if I Have Prediabetes?
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Become more physically active.
- See your physician and have your blood glucose checked regularly.
- Join a National Diabetes Prevention Program.
What is the National Diabetes Prevention Program?
The National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is offered to help people make necessary lifestyle changes. The program was designed and piloted in Indiana by the Indiana University School of Medicine, and has proven to prevent and/or delay type 2 diabetes. This program helped people cut their risk for diabetes in half!
In this year-long program, participants work with a trained "Lifestyle Coach" in a group-like setting to set personal goals, learn how to eat healthy, add daily physical activity, stay motivated, and problem solve issues that can get in the way of making healthy lifestyle changes. Each class meets for one hour:
Once per week for the first six months - then, upon completion;
Once or twice per month for the second six months to help with maintenance of these healthy lifestyle changes.
What are the Goals of the Program?
There are only two goals:
Lose five to seven percent of your body weight if you are overweight (approximately 10-14 pounds for a 200 pound person) through basic nutrition education
Achieve 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
How Do I Join a Lifestyle Change Program?
These lifestyle change programs are offered two ways:
- You can join a face-to-face program. (See map below)
- You can join a virtual program. Visit the CDC’s list of national online program providers.
Once a person is committed to making a lifestyle change, the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program can help them reach their personal goals. Remember, lasting lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight!
Here are a few comments from past participants of the program:
Participant “Jan” --
"This program has helped me understand life changing decisions that I needed to make to improve my quality of life going forward. Our lifestyle coach gives us the knowledge and tools for us to make the decision ourselves, not to just be another program where you are told what to do and not to do. The aspect of a small group has definitely added to this knowledge simply by interacting with others striving to change their lifestyle for the same goal as I have. We have been able to help each other along the way, with encouragement as well as sharing experiences. Would I recommend this class to others who want to prevent diabetes, absolutely!”
Participant “Doug” --
“I am 60 years old and I did NOT want to go into retirement feeling bad physically. For years and years I struggled with my weight. I would always lose some weight, but gain it right back…and then some. My first wake up call was when I had a partial knee replacement. I was absolutely shocked by what I weighed. Shortly after this, I had a second wake up call when my doctor put me on metformin and a diet.
A few weeks later, my wife saw an ad in the newspaper about a lifestyle change program for people with prediabetes. At first, I hesitated about attending an hour long class each week for 16 weeks, but then decided to go ahead and give it a try. I am so glad I did! I thought I already knew how to lose weight on my own; however, when I took this class, I found out I knew nothing. This class is a game changer. It gives you a plan for the long haul. Not only did I get encouragement from my instructor, but also from my classmates. We would come to class and tell each other about new food items we found or discuss how much fat was in our favorite meal at a restaurant we liked. I learned about reading food labels and, most importantly, how much food and fat I had been eating daily from my food diary. The class also taught me how important exercise is, I learned that walking in place every morning while watching the news was easy and worked for me. These classes have great information to help you succeed in living a better life and it helps to prevent diabetes. I highly recommend this program to others like me. I’ve lost a total of 58 pounds!”
Participant “Missy” --
“We are not doing this, losing weight and eating better, for our lifestyle coaches, but for ourselves. I heard about this program and I'm glad I did. In one year my weight went from 248 to 228 that is 20 pounds and over 8%. I have lost 3 belt loops, one pants size and my shirts are A LOT looser.”
Participant “Sandi” --
“Some of the things I have learned from this class: drink more water not soft drinks, watch your snacks, don't eat too late, you can share your food with someone, buy healthy food, eat just one (not three or four), you don't have to have fries with that burger, but if you do, just make it a small one, and try to exercise more. Don't beat yourself up if you slip back a little, just get back on track.”
Participants “Kathy and Tim” --
“We have learned so much about reading labels on food, looking for fat grams and calories. The class has made us more aware of what food we put into our mouths each day by tracking every meal. We learned to exercise along with eating a healthy diet maintains healthy weight. The class is so interesting and fun, we can’t wait to go back each week to learn more.”
Participant “Paula” --
“Without my lifestyle coaches as cheerleaders, I would have never been able to lose 20 pounds in six months!”
Participant story of “Pastor Don” --
Pastor Don was diligent about going to class every week, but staying for the whole hour was another story. He was also quick to let his lifestyle coaches know that his wife was making him come and, if someone called his cell (which happened every week) he was quick to leave. This went on for six months with his lifestyle coaches continuing to make him welcome in class. Towards the end of the second six months Pastor Don announced to his lifestyle coaches that, “Once I made up my mind to take the program seriously, I started losing weight.” To date, Pastor Don has lost 24 pounds! He also shared that he told his congregation that this holiday, “If anyone is thinking of making me a Chess pie, please keep the pie and bring me just ONE slice.”
Participant “Dawn” --
“Between the ages of 26 and 32 I delivered three BIG beautiful babies. After my third baby, the doctor told me that I would need to start monitoring myself for type 2 diabetes as I got older since I had gestational diabetes with all three of my pregnancies. At the time, I put that information in my memory bank and continued living the crazy life of a working pharmacist with three kids. I had picked up extra weight with each pregnancy and was definitely overweight. But who had time to exercise? Throughout my thirties and forties I tried every new diet and weight management program that came along. I would lose 5 pounds only to gain eight back. This “yo-yo” dieting continued for years.
As I approached age 59, my doctor told me that my A1c was up to 5.7 and that I was now in the pre-diabetes range. I told her how frustrated I was that I could not lose weight on my own and told her all about my past efforts. She advised me to work with a licensed dietitian and then gave me the highlights of life with diabetes (scary!)
On her advice, I met with a dietitian at my local hospital who told me about a new class she was starting to help people prevent diabetes. I met the program qualifications with my elevated A1c and history of gestational diabetes. I was retired, my kids were grown and married, the timing was right to focus on my health. No more excuses! The classes were enlightening. This was not a diet, it was a lifestyle change. I have become a much more educated “eater” and can reflect back on past attempts and understand why they didn’t work. The support from my lifestyle coach (the dietitian) and the other participants in class helped me stay motivated as I worked to reach my goals.
Four months after beginning the program, I returned to the doctor for an annual physical. The doctor exclaimed, “I’m not sure what you have been doing, but keep it up!” I had lost 23 pounds since my last visit with her and my A1c level had dropped to 5.4 and I was no longer in the prediabetes range! It was the best birthday present I could have ever received as I turned 60.”