Are you one of three Americans living with prediabetes? There is high chance that if you are living with prediabetes, you may not even know it. You may have prediabetes or have a higher chance of developing prediabetes if any of these apply to you:

*Being overweight

*Having a family history of type 2 diabetes (especially a parent or sibling)

*History of gestational diabetes during pregnancy

*Having a fasting blood sugar between 100 -125 mg/dL

There is also another blood test called a Hemoglobin A1c. This test measures your average blood sugar over three months. If you have a level between 5.7-6.4 percent, your healthcare provider may diagnosis you with prediabetes.

The good news is that prediabetes does not have to become Type 2 diabetes. Research shows that a modest amount of weight loss and regular physical activity can prevent or at least delay getting type 2 diabetes. We also know changing habits can be really hard. If you are looking for a supportive setting to make lifestyle changes, then you might want to think about enrolling in Providence Hood River Hospital’s Prevent T2 program.

The Prevent T2 program is a yearlong program, with 26 one-hour classes held throughout the year. The class is run by a certified health coach trained specifically for the T2 program. Each of the classes will cover topics like how to eat healthy, increasing activity, dealing with stress and emotional eating, among many other health topics. One of the biggest benefits is the support of your class peers and health coach throughout the entire year.

Providence currently has one group of Prevent T2 participants who are now six months into their yearlong program. Here are a few things these participants have to say about their experience so far with the Prevent T2 program:

“The meetings are so uplifting. It gives you a great support team.”

“The value of this class is accountability. It helps you be accountable to yourself and the group support helps you to stay true to your goals.”

“Amazing program! It’s not just about weight loss. It’s about learning how to eat healthy and increase activity in order to achieve a healthy way of life.”

Concerned about the cost? Insurances are starting to cover the cost of the program. Medicare started covering the cost earlier this year and, starting in 2019, The Oregon Health Plan is going to cover the cost, too. If you have commercial insurance, you may want to call your insurance to see if you have coverage. But, if you do not have insurance coverage, please do not let that stop you from signing up in the program. Providence Hood River Hospital is committed to the health of our community. Providence Hood River Hospital Foundation is willing to help reduce the cost of those who qualify for the program and do not have insurance coverage.

So if you are interested in learning more about this exciting, potentially life changing program, please call Providence Hood River Diabetes Education and Support Services at 541-387-6379.

Healthy Active Hood River County (HAHRC) is a community healthy living coalition that promotes wellness through increased physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention, behavioral health, prevention of addictions and policy and environmental change. All are welcome to attend the next meeting on Dec. 18 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Providence Hood River Hospital Board Room.

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