Lifestyle program targets diabetes prevention
An estimated 89 million American adults have prediabetes, a condition with elevated blood sugar levels. Prediabetes is known as a silent disease because 90 percent of people don’t know they have it. Prediabetes puts people at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and developing type 2 diabetes.
Legacy Mount Hood began a program for diabetes prevention in 2017 to help people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes make changes to improve their health. The 12-month lifestyle change program is based on the Centers for Disease Control’s T2 Prevention Program that emphasizes behavior strategies and moderate weight loss by improving eating habits and increasing physical activity. Similar groups were started at Legacy Good Samaritan, Legacy Meridian Park, and Legacy Salmon Creek thanks to generous funding from Legacy Health Foundations and Sun Life Financial.
A cohort of nine people joined the Mount Hood diabetes prevention pilot program. Many were motivated by the desire to avoid the devastating impact of developing diabetes. Fear about her health motivated participant Tristy Crislip to join the group after she was diagnosed with prediabetes. “I knew I had to make changes because I didn’t want to eat my way into diabetes and bad health,” said Crislip.
The first six months of the prevention program emphasize weight loss, nutrition education, motivation and problem solving, activity tracking, and weekly support meetings. The program's goals are for participants to lose 5-7 percent of their starting weight and to get 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Strategies to help participants keep weight off, work toward weight goals, and sustain physical activity are emphasized in the last six months.
The program has helped Crislip make changes and achieve good results. “A big change was reducing the amount of carbohydrates in my food choices,” she said. Making better food choices and exercising 30 minutes a day helped Crislip get her A1C blood glucose levels to normal range. She’s also lost 30 pounds and lowered her blood pressure to a healthy level.
Progress doesn’t happen without dealing with obstacles along the way. The program is facilitated by lifestyle coach who helps participants anticipate challenges and make plans to overcome them. “It’s not easy changing habits you’ve had for a long time,” said Jane Sayner, registered dietician and lifestyle coach for the diabetes prevention program. She guides the group learning sessions and the weekly action planning. “It’s so helpful to have a structured plan and peer support for what to do when motivation changes or if someone gets temporarily derailed,” said Sayner. The program promotes many different strategies for self-monitoring of diet and activity, problem solving, and building self-efficacy to maintain lifestyle changes.
The cohort participants have made significant lifestyle changes and improved their health. Some participants have reduced A1C levels to normal ranges, others have lowered blood pressure levels, and some no longer need prescription medication because their health has improved so dramatically. The group has lost a total of 95 lbs. Their efforts have increased mindfulness and improved physical activity habits. They have made friends and gained confidence that these new habits and changes will have lasting health benefits.
Diabetes Prevention Program
Diabetes Prevention Program classes will be offered at Legacy Mount Hood, Legacy Emanuel, Legacy Salmon Creek, Legacy Meridian Park, and Legacy Good Samaritan through support from the Legacy Health Foundations.
Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute is recruiting participants for new grant-funded diabetes prevention program groups beginning this spring at Legacy Mount Hood, Legacy Emanuel, Legacy Salmon Creek and Legacy Meridian Park. If you or someone you know has prediabetes or is at risk for developing diabetes and want to learn more about the diabetes prevention program classes, please call the diabetes prevention program administrator Kate Fuqua at 503-413-7226.
Click here to learn about Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute Diabetes Program.
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