November is National Diabetes Month which helps raise awareness about the seriousness of diabetes, what resources are available, and also removes some of the negative stigmas surrounding diabetes.
It’s no secret that diabetes is a serious disease and growing in numbers across the nation and in the state of Kansas.
In the past year, in Kansas, diabetes increased 10% from 10.5% to 11.6% of adults according to America’s Health Rankings’ of 2019 report.
One in three American adults has prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, you are at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, a serious disease. Many people with prediabetes who do not lose weight or do moderate physical activity can develop Type 2 diabetes within five years.
The good news is that you can prevent Type 2 diabetes. The 24 for Life lifestyle change program, offered by Midland Care Connection, can help. The 24 for Life program is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is proven to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes.
In 24 for Life, you will work in a group with a trained lifestyle coach to learn the skills you need to make lasting changes. These include losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress. You will learn to eat healthy, add physical activity to your life, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes.
“If you have prediabetes, 24 for Life offers a real chance to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by helping you adopt a healthier lifestyle,” said Donna Doel, Assistant Coordinator.
Thanks to a grant provided by the American Diabetes Program, those who qualify as prediabetic or are at risk for Type 2 diabetes can be a part of the 24 for Life program at no cost.
Your 24 for Life group will meet for a year — weekly for the first 16 sessions, then twice a month and then once a month to maintain your healthy lifestyle changes. Participants enjoy the group support and find it makes lifestyle change easier.
“I was prediabetic, and wanted to get healthier so I could live a longer life,” said Richard Faulkner, 24 for Life participant. “My wife and I wanted to do something that was going to help us. The 24 for Life program has helped me to pay more attention to the things that I eat and how I eat. Tracking your exercise and how much exercise you do is going to improve your health. It’s something you can control. This is something you can do on your own to help improve your health. If you’re on the fence and you want to do something to improve your life, this is something that is important. You need to go ahead and take the step to get involved.”
The 24 for Life program is based on research that found people with prediabetes can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight. That is about 10 to 14 pounds for a person weighing 200 pounds.
“People who need to make those dietary and lifestyle changes didn’t know where to start and this is a good opportunity to get that jumpstart,” said Lauren Fager, APRN, Family Health Practitioner at HealthStat, Inc. in Topeka. “I started referring patients to 24 for Life so they have that community support to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes. Those patients who have participated have come back saying they feel healthier, that they have more of a health knowledge, and lab results have improved.”
To learn more about 24 for Life and find a program near you, call Donna Doel 785-250-5210 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please go to www.midlandcareconnection.org/24forlife
Or find us on FACEBOOK: @24ForLifeDiabetesPrevention