Northern New Mexico community members are preventing type two diabetes together by participating in the free National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) offered in Española by The Family YMCA and the Rio Arriba Cooperative Extension Service.
Guided by trained lifestyle coaches, groups of participants will learn the skills necessary to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active and managing stress.
People with pre-diabetes – higher than normal blood glucose (sugar) levels – are five to 15 times more likely to develop type two diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with pre-diabetes will be diagnosed with type two diabetes within three years.
“One in three American adults has pre-diabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” Y Wellness Director Melanie Chapman said. “The NDPP Program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type two diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”
Participants will learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. NDPP groups meet once a week for 16 weeks, then once a month for six months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes.
The program’s group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.
“I’ve tried so many things before, but without the program I would never have done this on my own.” one program participant said.
The National Diabetes Prevention Program is based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that showed that people with pre-diabetes who lost five to seven percent of their body weight (10-14 pounds for a two hundred-pound person) by making modified changes reduced their risk of developing type two diabetes by 58 percent.
Nationwide implementation of the program could save the U.S. health care system $5.7 billion and prevent about 885,000 future cases of type two diabetes, a serious condition that can lead to health problems including heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure or loss of toes, feet or legs.
“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” Chapman said. “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, NDPP participants are making lasting changes together.”
People are more likely to have pre-diabetes and type two diabetes if they:
- Are 45 years of age or older
- Are overweight
- Have a family history of type two diabetes
- Are physically active fewer than three times a week, or
- Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds
If you think you may be at risk for pre-diabetes and type two diabetes and would like to join the program:
- Contact your health provider and ask to be tested for pre-diabetes. The health care provider may do a simple blood test. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 505.662.3100 to find out if you qualify for the program.
- Take the “Could You Have Pre-diabetes?” online quiz at www.cdc.gov/PreventTtwo. If your score shows you are at high risk for pre-diabetes, talk to your health care provider or contact the program.
Classes are free and begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27 at the Española County Complex Training Room, 1122 Industrial Park Road, in Española. Class size is limited and pre-registration is required.