One in three adults in Lowell could have prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, your blood sugar is on the rise but not quite high enough to qualify for type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that prediabetes doesn’t have to mean you’re destined for a future of measuring blood sugar and injecting insulin. Type 2 diabetes may be avoided by making lifestyle changes such as losing weight and increasing physical activity.
A program coming to Lowell is designed to help those who have prediabetes make changes and avoid a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. It begins with an informational session being held next Tuesday from 5:45-6:45pm at Flat River Outreach Ministries on Fulton Street.
Do you have prediabetes?
Many people who have prediabetes don’t realize they have the condition. It often develops slowly over time with few symptoms. However, you might notice you are thirstier or hungrier than normal. You may need to use the restroom more frequently, and some people lose weight despite eating more. Fatigue is also a common indicator of prediabetes.
Even if you don’t have these symptoms, you could be at risk for the condition based on the following factors:
- Excessive weight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of type 2 diabetes
- History of gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure or high cholesterol
Those age 45 and older are also more likely to be diagnosed with prediabetes.
Program offers support locally
The Diabetes Prevention Center is bringing its Diabetes Prevention Program to Lowell to help those with prediabetes avoid becoming diabetic. It’s a proven system that has been shown to reduce the likelihood of people developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Among those age 60 and older, it has reduced the chances of a diabetes diagnosis by 71 percent.
“DPP participants will be part of a small, supportive group led by a trained lifestyle coach,” says Joyce Williams, communications specialist with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. The Diabetes Prevention Center is a division of the foundation. “You’ll learn about healthier eating habits, ways to be more physically active and other behavior changes over the course of 16 weekly one-hour sessions.”
The program will last an entire year. Once the 16 sessions are completed, the group will continue to meet monthly for the duration.
There is a cost for the program, but Medicare Parts B and C will pay for the fee for qualified participants. Some private insurance companies may also cover the cost. For those who don’t have insurance coverage, grant funds may be available.
While the program starts on November 13, participants must attend an informational session on Tuesday, November 6, from 5:45-6:45pm in the FROM building. For more information or to register, visit ReadySetPrevent.org or call 616-458-9520.