Diabetes Prevention

Making and sustaining lifestyle changes with diabetes is a challenge. Many people know what to do to improve their health; it’s figuring out how to do it that is the biggest challenge.  Diabetes HealthSense is an online library of resources compiled by the National Diabetes Education Program. These excellent resources are also from the National Diabetes Education Program Health Finder:

Diabetes Prevention Get your Toolbox ready:

I wanted to provide you with some useful information tools to support your efforts to light a fire under diabetes prevention. PreDiabetes Defined:

  • Fasting blood glucose of 100 – 125 mg/dl or
  • A1c of 5.7 – 6.4%

Astounding PreDiabetes Stats:

What are the complications of prediabetes?

  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Increased risk of eye, kidney and nerve disease

Can we stop Pre-Diabetes from rolling over to Diabetes? Yes. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) demonstrated;

  • Losing 5-7% of body weight and
  • Accumulating 150 minutes of activity a week, reduces the risk of getting diabetes is reduced by 58%
  • And, if you are over the age of 60, the risk is reduced 71%

Cost Effectiveness: Diabetes Prevention Program:

  • Prevention is cost effective. It only costs about $300 per person in resources (i.e., instructors, overhead, handouts) to provide the DPP Program through the YMCA.
  • Trained lifestyle coaches can successfully provide the program in a variety of settings.

How to Motivate and Help your patients to LOSE Weight?

  • If you have prediabetes, each 2.2 pounds you lose reduces your risk of getting diabetes by 13%
  • Weight loss works best early on in the course of the diabetes. The earlier you start, the more you protect your beta cells.

Keep a food diary  – Download a free Food and Activity Tracker from the DPP website. Weigh yourself once a week and write it down. Make a positive action plan to eat less, with a focus on portion control and fat intake reduction. Brainstorm options and pick one goal to try. Facilitators coach participants using “Unconditional Positive Regard”. Focus on successes and provide lots of positive affirmations. Try to steer them away from negative thinking. The DPP focuses on counting FAT calories to lose weight. It is simple to explain and it works.  Here is the chart they use.

Counting fat grams is a straightforward approach that is easy for patients to grasp and it works. Perhaps we should be using it for our patients with diabetes to help jump start weight loss?

Getting Started – How to set up a Diabetes Prevention Program in your Community First, you may want to see if a YMCA or other community based organization is offering a Diabetes Prevention program in your area. The nuts and bolts of a CDC Diabetes Recognized Program:

  • Use an approved curriculum that meets the CDC Standards. A complete and free curriculum is posted on the CDC Website
  • The program includes 16 weeks of group classes and once-a-month follow-up for 8 months.
  • The minimum class size is 8 people for the year.
  • Participants must have prediabetes as confirmed by lab test and risk test.  Patients who are on diabetes medications can attend, but can not be applied toward CDC recognition application.
  • This is just a highlight of key points. You can Download Complete CDC Application here.

Can we bill insurance companies for the Diabetes Prevention Program? In some communities throughout our country, organizations that provide the prevention program are billing private insurance companies for the program. However, Medicare has not yet agreed to reimburse for the Prevention Program in spite of advocacy work to secure funding in Congress. Many programs are asking participants pay out of pocket for the program. The complete program charge ranges from $150 to over $1000, depending on the demographics of the community. Our goal: keep supporting efforts to secure funding for Diabetes Prevention Programs. Talk to administrators, colleagues, representatives and community leaders to encourage the provision of this proven and cost-effective program. Our communities need it!

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