Sauk Prairie Healthcare News

January 17, 2020

Diabetes Prevention Program Instills Lifestyle Changes for Healthier Future

Diabetes Prevention Program Instills Lifestyle Changes for Healthier Future

Diabetes has become a leading public health risk in America and still growing. Many of those at risk are well aware of what needs to change, but the work of trading lifelong habits for new healthier ones can be exhausting without expert help and support. Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Change Program can help. 

Diabetes is a failure in the body to reliably break down sugars, increasing blood sugar levels, starving cells and leading to a range of unpleasant, and in some cases, dangerous results. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. The second main type of diabetes, type 2, arises when the body no longer responds to insulin being produced (insulin resistance). Although many are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, changes in diet, activity and lifestyle can greatly decrease that risk. The aim of Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Change Program is to help prevent type 2 diabetes. 

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include: being diagnosed with prediabetes; being overweight; being age 45 or older; having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes; being physically active less than three times per week; or having a history of gestational diabetes. 

Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Change Program, held at Wellspring in Prairie du Sac, helps people with prediabetes and risk factors for future diabetes to make lifestyle changes that will help them avoid a type 2 diabetes diagnosis later in life. 

The upcoming class runs from March through June 2020, and features specialists in the fields of nutrition, fitness, mental health, and other areas of personal wellness. An additional class is set to start in September 2020. Instructors help participants confront common life hurdles like: how to find ways to stay active year round, how to shop healthfully for the whole family, and what to do if you were losing weight but then it just seems to stop. Sauk Prairie Healthcare Wellness Supervisor Sandy Drury describes the program as “very interactive” with a focus on group support. 

Dietitian Isaac Hoffmaster leads the class, which helps participants to set and achieve goals for activity, healthy eating, and weight loss. Success is measured in a variety of ways, including an A1C blood draw at the start and end of the program. A1C is a test commonly used to diagnose and monitor diabetes as well as diabetes risk. Knowing your A1C results helps our specialist guide your goal setting to prevent future diabetes. 

Many studies of lifestyle change programs have shown that, although adopting and keeping new healthy habits is difficult, the presence of accountability in a positive environment greatly improves a person’s chances of sticking with it and achieving their goals. This class stresses goal setting and accountability. At the end of each class, participants set goals for the next week based on their own circumstances and incorporating that day’s lesson. Each class begins with a group discussion on goals and success or challenges participants faced during the past week. Through this, students also learn from each other by talking through the challenges and developing solutions based on shared experience. 

Sauk Prairie Healthcare is hosting a free informational session on February 27 at Wellspring from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., where participants can meet Hoffmaster, Drury and other instructors, as well as learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Change Program. At the session, participants can sign up for the program, but session attendance is not required for program participation. For more information, visit www.SaukPrairieHealthcare.org/PreventT2.

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