Class will offer diabetes prevention help

January 3, 2014 • Local News

Have you been told you might have pre-diabetes?

Anyone who made a New Year’s resolution to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes can join the Lifestyle Intervention Course held by the Chaves County Extension Office.

An informational meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Jan. 21 at the CCEO office, 200 E. Chisum. The class is limited to 20-22 participants, said Home Economist Shannon Wooton.

In its third year, the 16-week course has had great success in improving the risk factors of its participants, Wooton said.

“We average about 13 percent weight loss with the participants,” Wooton said. “They just love the program.”

Students follow a set curriculum and program, are asked to exercise 150 minutes during the [auth] week, talk about what triggers them to eat, and keep track of their meals. They work with Susan Dade, a registered dietitian during the course. After that, they meet once a month for six months as a support group.

“It’s a great program. We want to get the word out there,” Wooton said.

The New Mexico Department of Health-Diabetes Prevention and Control Program is supporting and helping to facilitate the National Diabetes Prevention Program throughout the state. The National Diabetes Prevention Program was developed by the CDC for people with pre-diabetes.

Pre-diabetes refers to a condition that means a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

The course initiative is based on a Diabetes Prevention Program National Institutes of Health study that demonstrated a 5 to 14 percent weight loss achieved and maintained through regular physical activity and improved nutrition.

Addressing the condition at this stage is important, Wooton said.

“It’s so important to catch it … before they have to get on medications, before they have to start testing and before they start having the nerve damage that diabetes brings with it,” Wooton said. “Just by having a 5 to 7 percent weight loss will delay diabetes or stop it.”

Although class members don’t exercise during the course, they are given information about where to go in the community. Often, many of them will form walking groups among themselves or exercise together.

“They’re very supportive of each other,” Wooton said. “It’s definitely a lifestyle change that has to be made.”

Participants must be 18 years old or older, with a body mass index of 24 or greater, who want to make a change, Wooton said. They also need to include a history of gestational diabetes or fasting plasma glucose of 100 to 125 mg/dl, A1c of 5.7 to 6.4 or if they screen positive for pre-diabetes based on the Centers for Disease Control pre-diabetes screening test.

Participants can be referred by their doctor, or call the CCEO at 622-3210 for more information.

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