Havre, Montana – Hi-Line Community members are being offered a chance to prevent type 2 diabetes together with the Healthy Lifestyle change program offered by Northern Montana Hospital (NMH). Guided by trained lifestyle coaches, participants will be able to learn the skills they need to make lasting changes such as losing a modest amount of weight, being more physically active, and managing stress. This class will also be beneficial to Montanans with increased cardio-vascular risks.
People with prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels — are 5 to 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with normal blood glucose levels. In fact, many people with prediabetes can be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within 5 years.
“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention has never been greater,” said Susan Morgan, RN, Director of Clinic Nursing at NMH. “The “Healthy Lifestyle” program offers a proven approach to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of coaches and one’s peers.”
Participants will learn how to eat healthy, add physical activity to their routine, manage stress, stay motivated, and solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes. This Diabetes Prevention group will meet for a year — weekly for the first 6 months, then once or twice a month for the second 6 months to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. The program’s group setting will provide a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes. Together participants can celebrate their successes and find ways to overcome obstacles.
“Healthy Lifestyle” is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The local program will meets at Northern Montana Hospital, on Mondays and Thursdays, and costs $150 for the year. Several have already signed up for “Healthy Lifestyle”, and NMH is working to enroll up to 50 participants.
This Diabetes Prevention Program is based on research that showed that people with prediabetes who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) by making modest changes reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
Nationwide implementation of the program could greatly reduce future cases of type 2 diabetes, a serious condition that can lead to health problems including heart attack; stroke; blindness; kidney failure; or loss of toes, feet, or legs.
“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” added Ms. Morgan. “Working with trained lifestyle coaches who provides guidance, our “Healthy Lifestyle” participants will make lasting changes together.”
To participate in the “Healthy Lifestyle” program, individuals must meet the eligibility criteria and be referred by their current Primary Care Provider. Primary Care Providers at the Northern Montana Family Medical Center and the Northern Montana Specialty Medical Center have the applicable forms for referrals. Call (406) 265-5408 or (406) 265-7831 for an appointment. To learn more about the program, call Susan Morgan, RN at (406) 262-1586, or visit www.NMHcare.org, and/or www.cdc.gov/PreventT2].