Let’s Work Together To Prevent Diabetes
Angela Ginn-Meadow, RN, RDN, LDN, CDE, Senior Diabetes Educator Coordinator, University of Maryland Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus | 8/9/2019, 6 a.m.
Say Good-Bye to “a touch of sugar.” Prediabetes is a condition when blood sugar is above normal range but not high enough to be considered Type 2 Diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.6 million Marylanders are estimated to have this condition which can lead to Type 2 diabetes and increase the likeliness of developing heart disease, having a stroke or complications such as blindness, kidney function, sexual dysfunction or amputation. But we can work together to prevent diabetes!
First, prediabetes can be diagnosed with some simple tests by your healthcare provider— and, if you do test positive, there are important steps you can take to reverse the progression of diabetes. And because there are no clear symptoms of prediabetes, it is important to understand risk factors, including being overweight, having a family history of diabetes, having high blood pressure, not being active, or having diabetes during pregnancy.
So, why is it important to catch prediabetes and prevent Type 2 Diabetes? Type 2 diabetes does not have a cure and can lead to serious health conditions. But there is hope. According to The National Institutes of Health clinical trial, The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) found that participants with prediabetes reduced the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by 58 percent with lifestyle changes alone.
There is no magic pill or strange diet to follow, but rather a commitment to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle every day. What are healthy lifestyle habits? DPP includes daily goals of at least 20 minutes of physical activity and losing a modest amount of approximately five to seven percent body weight, which results in the delay of Type 2 diabetes. DPP helps participants identify habits that increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes and motivates individuals to adopt healthy lifestyle habits that lower the overall risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and improving their quality of life. Learning to implement these small, healthy changes and full commitment to attend the group program can be impactful for years come.
“This program taught me to cook healthier. I use my air fryer if I want fried, chicken and always add a green vegetable to dinner. I never liked to exercise, and we would dance during the program. I even found ways to track my steps. This program changed my life and my family. I helped my kids to eat better and I walk more with my grandkids,” said a participant in the DPP at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Midtown Campus.
Remember, diabetes does not have to be your destiny. Make the commitment to make small changes that will impact your quality of life. DPP is a priceless gift of health and lowering your chance of developing diabetes and other serious medical conditions. The group setting at the free DPP program at UMMC Midtown campus and in the community allows, participants to discover behaviors and interventions to change unhealthy habits.
“It was so rewarding to see the progress each week of the group and when someone was not quite meeting their physical activity goals, a participant would volunteer to meet them for a morning walk most days of the week,” said one of the UMMC facilitators.
So, say good-bye to a touch of sugar…and join the Diabetes Prevention Program. To learn more register now to attend the University of Maryland Diabetes & Endocrinology Center’s DPP
information session Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 2 p.m. For more information, visit: www.umm.edu/community or call 410-328-8402.