Preventing Diabetes

Before people learn they have Type 2 diabetes, they almost always have “pre”-diabetes. That means they have higher than normal blood sugar. But not yet high enough to have their doctor tell them they have diabetes. Being pre-diabetic means that a person is at higher risk for getting Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Because there are no clear signs, you could have pre-diabetes, and not even know it! There are blood tests that can be done at your doctor’s office to help you know if you are at risk. If you have pre-diabetes, you should be checked for Type 2 diabetes every one to two years.
If you have pre-diabetes, it isn’t a sure thing that you will get Type 2 diabetes. There are things you can do to not get diabetes. For some people, working with your doctor can help get blood sugar levels to normal. Ways you can lower your risk include:
  • Losing 7% of your body weight (or 15 pounds if you weigh 200)
  • Being active (such as brisk walking) 30 minutes a day, 5 days/week
An easy way to see if you are at risk, go to the American Diabetes Association at http://www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/diabetes-risk-test/ Be sure to share the results with your doctor.
If you are pre-diabetic, think about taking a class to help prevent getting diabetes. Four Corners is preparing to start a new class now! The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a year-long program that has proven to have great results for people. It helps people to lose weight, stay active, and lessen their chance of getting Type 2 diabetes.
You will work with a Lifestyle Coach who is there to support and help you reach your goals. Meeting as a group is key to the program’s success. Group members cheer each other on. Also, there are others in the class that understand your struggles. Group classes focus on:
  • Healthy Eating
  • Weight Loss
  • Lessening Stress and Coping Skills
  • Being More Active
  • Making these changes part of your everyday life
These types of changes can lessen your risk of having Type 2 diabetes by 58%. People joining the class meet weekly for 16 weeks, and then monthly for the rest of the year.
Four Corners also has partners in each county that offer a Diabetes Prevention Program. This year long class has helped many people get off the path to diabetes. Contact Four Corners or your local hospital for information on where to find a program near you.
If you think you may have pre-diabetes or have any signs of high blood sugar, you need to see your doctor. To learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program or diabetes, please call Four Corners Health Department @ 877-337-3573. You also can check out Four Corners website: www.fourcorners.ne.gov.