Free Diabetes Prevention Program Can Lower Risk in West Georgia
Posted Date: 12/27/2013
For west Georgia residents at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, Get Healthy, Live Well is offering a free opportunity to turn back the disease.
The community collaborative is offering the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which provides lifestyle-changing education that can reduce the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-approved educational series teaches people lifestyle changes that can prevent diabetes.
The program also provides more information about prediabetes and how the steps that participants take through the program can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
“We’re hoping to educate participants about diabetes warning signs and symptoms, how to know if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and what they can do to fight back against the disease,” said Gina Brandenburg, a certified health education specialist with Tanner Health System and program manager with Get Healthy, Live Well.
According to the CDC, as many as 35 percent of adults have prediabetes—the condition that precedes diabetes—and many don’t even realize it. That means that almost 40,000 adults in Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties may presently have prediabetes.
Prediabetes can also be described as impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance. A person with prediabetes has higher than normal blood glucose levels, but the levels aren’t yet high enough for the person to be diagnosed with diabetes.
“Without prevention, prediabetes can become type 2 diabetes,” said Brandenburg. “Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder resulting from the body’s inability to make enough insulin or to properly use insulin. Without adequate production or utilization of insulin, the body cannot move blood sugar into the cells. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that has no known cure. It is the most common type of diabetes.”
More than 79 million people nationwide have been diagnosed with diabetes. According to CDC statistics for the national benchmark, Carroll County, Heard County and Haralson County are all above the national average for adults diagnosed with diabetes.
People with prediabetes are more likely to get type 2 diabetes than others and they may be at an even higher risk if someone in their family has diabetes. Other risk factors include having a body mass index higher than 25, a fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dl and any previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
Those who have or are at risk for diabetes may not know of the serious health complications that arise when you have the disease.
“Remaining untreated, those with diabetes are at risk to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and in worst cases, amputations may be necessary,” said Brandenburg.
The lifestyle change program hopes to help people cut their risk for the disease in half.
With modest changes in behavior, the program can help people lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. The changes that can be achieved through the National Diabetes Prevention Program can help participants with prediabetes reduce their risk for developing type-2 diabetes by 58 percent.
The one-year lifestyle change program allows participants to work with a trained lifestyle coach in a group setting with 16 core sessions—one per week—followed by six monthly follow-up sessions.
Lifestyle coaches work with participants to identify emotions and situations that can sabotage their success. The group process encourages participants to share strategies for dealing with challenging situations.
The program will have locations throughout west Georgia. Healthcare facilities like Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica and Higgins General Hospital in Bremen will serve as host sites, as well as the University of West Georgia, Oak Mountain Academy, Heard County Library and Ephesus Library. Several companies will offer the program to their employees.
For more information visit www.GetHealthyLiveWell.org. To register, call 770.214.CARE (2273). The registration line is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Class size is limited, so register early.
Get Healthy, Live Well is a community network, built through collaboration and partnership, working to educate, promote and develop sustained conditions for healthier lifestyles where people live, work and play in these communities. The Get Healthy, Live Well initiative is led by Tanner Health System and funded by a Community Transformation Grant from the CDC.