Losing weight and getting healthy are two plans that are probably listed in your New Year resolutions.
“It’s always a good time. Now is always a good time,” said Annette McClenahan, Diabetes educator with Lee Health.
The national diabetes prevention program is a one-year commitment that can help participants who qualify achieve both goals. “We help you set goals on how you can achieve weight loss and increase activity because those are the two things that can reverse pre-diabetes or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes,” said McClenahan.
While there are no symptoms for pre-diabetes, health experts say there are many risk factors. “Sometimes they might just tell you, your blood sugar is higher than normal, you’re at risk for diabetes, we are starting to use the term pre-diabetes more frequently. They might tell you that you have impaired glucose tolerance,” said McClenahan.
Patients may be living with pre-diabetes if they have a family history of diabetes, are overweight, are inactive, have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, even if they are over the age of 45. A blood test can determine if they are at risk. “If we start working on these things early we can prevent this from progressing to diabetes,” said McClenahan.
The program gives participants the tools they need to improve their health and prevent type 2 diabetes.
“Our two program goals are to lose weight and work up to 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. These are the things that research shows will prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes,” said McClenahan.
To qualify for the program, patients must have a BMI of 25 or higher and be referred by a physician. “If we can prevent it that’s great, and there are all these other benefits like a decrease in your risk for stroke and heart attack,” said McClenahan.
A new class starts every month. While it’s not a quick fix, the program helps participants focus on lifestyle changes that can keep them in good health and prevent type 2 diabetes.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.