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Helping you Fight Against Pre-Diabetes: March 5, 2019

One in ten people are living with type two diabetes—but one in three people are living with pre-diabetes. “The government, the CDC, and Medicare have looked at these numbers. If we don’t do something, this is really going to explode,” said Annette McClenahan, a diabetes coordinator with Lee Health.

Patients are considered pre-diabetic if their A1C is between 5.7 and 6.4. Patients are considered diabetic once their A1C reaches over 6.5. Risk factors include being overweight, having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a sedentary lifestyle.

“Usually when you have pre-diabetes, if you don’t take any action, most likely a lot of those people advance to diabetes stage, and we want to prevent that because of the complications that can come with it,” said McClenahan. Once a patient is diabetic, they have an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and nerve damage. But the pre-diabetes program is helping patients get back on track. “People that participate in this program reduce their risk of developing type two diabetes by 60 to 70 percent depending on their age,” she said.

The yearlong program, which is led by the Center for Disease Control, focuses on behavior, habits, diet, exercise, and barriers to help patients improve their lifestyle. “We’re showing that these people have been very successful. They bring their blood sugar ranges back to normal levels. They are bringing their cholesterol levels down, their weight is coming down, they are feeling better in general,” said McClenahan.

Offering participants support, education, and accountability, the program gives patients the tools they need to improve their health and prevent type two diabetes.

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