An estimated one out of every three Americans has pre-diabetes and is in danger of serious health risks because of the chronic illness. A course offered by the Diabetes Prevention Program at Floyd Medical Center is designed to teach you how to lessen your risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease that can cause a number of complications that include:
- limb loss
- kidney failure
- loss of eyesight
- loss of sexual function
- nerve damage
- inability to fight off infection
The Diabetes Prevention Program was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help people make modest lifestyle changes to reduce their risk by more than 50 percent. The course is free to those who sign up in 2018 and will be held once a week for approximately a year.
Floyd first offered the program to its own employees and found it effective. Those who participated for all 12 months lost between 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, dropping anywhere from 7 to 43 pounds. They also increased their physical activity levels to at least two and a half hours a week, said Traci Tillery, Director of Nursing Specialty Services at Floyd. As a result, many of them brought their fasting blood glucose levels into the normal range.
The program was so successful it received a $10,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Public Health, and Floyd is only the second hospital in the state to receive recognition from the CDC for its efforts in preventing diabetes.
Individuals are eligible for the course if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more AND any one of the following:
- A1C measurement between 5.7 - 6.4
- Fasting glucose level between 100 - 125 mg/dL
- Diagnosed with prediabetes
Floyd has set up 1-hour information sessions beginning Sept. 17 for anyone who might be interested in taking the course. Registration is free and can be done online at floyd.org/diabetesprevention or by calling the Floyd Diabetes Education Department at 706.509.5184.
“Most people don’t understand the importance of preventing Type 2 diabetes,” said Tillery. “It can cause your blood vessels to become hardened like PVC pipes, which leads to poor circulation, slower healing of wounds and a greater risk of heart attack and stroke,” she added.
Floyd also is working to prevent Type 2 diabetes through its participation in a Department of Public Health (DPH) pilot project, CATAPULT. The project has two goals: reduce hospitalizations for Type 2 diabetes by 25 percent and for high blood pressure by 10 percent by 2020.