Do You Have Prediabetes? Check Yourself

The holidays are approaching and many gatherings are centered on food. Did you know that the choices you make could impact your chances of preventing diabetes?

Here are the facts: One in three people have prediabetes and nine in 10 people don’t know they have it. Here’s some more news – IU Health offers a free workshop to help people at risk of prediabetes, learn about those risks and how to avoid them.

Following the slogan – “It can cut your risk in half,” the workshops offer insight into who is at risk, why they are at risk, and how they can avoid diabetes.

“The year-long program is designed to help you make necessary lifestyle changes with a focus on healthy eating, physical activity, weight management, setting personal goals, and problem solving,” said Britney Merchant, diabetes program coordinator and a certified lifestyle coach. The IUHP Diabetes Prevention Program is a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approved curriculum of 16, one-hour classes in the first 6 months of the program and an additional six classes in the next six months of the program.  Two specific goals of the program are to lose 5-7% of body weight if overweight, and achieve 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

Each week the meetings are facilitated by a Certified Lifestyle Coach and Registered dietitian and include a topic of discussion; participants are encouraged to create a support network throughout the course of meetings. The Lifestyle Coach also checks on the participants between meetings to see if they have questions or concerns.

The first program kicked off in October. The second one will begin Jan. 12, 2019 at IU Health West. In addition to the Diabetes Prevention workshop, IU Health offers free support groups throughout the city – the second Tuesday of the month from 6-7:00 p.m. – for persons diagnosed with diabetes. The next support group will meet November 13 at Nora Library. The topic: “Surviving the Holidays With Diabetes.” 

This month is National Diabetes Month – a time to educate and bring attention to a disease that impacts millions of Americans. In Indiana, Diabetes has continued to increase affecting 10.7% of the population and is the seventh leading cause of death. Research has shown that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed.

What you need to know:

  • The Best candidates to learn more about the risks of prediabetes are people with family histories of diabetes; people over the age of 40, woman who have had gestational diabetes in the past, those who are overweight, and those who have had any medical history of such issues as high blood pressure.
  • Non-candidates (those disqualified for the workshops) – anyone diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes; anyone who has ever been on insulin; and anyone who is under the age of 18.

— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email