Diabetes prevention program at United Regional offers tools for a healthier life (Healthy You)

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Not every disease or health problem can be prevented, but those at risk for type two diabetes can be proactive.

There’s a resource right here in Wichita County that’s helping those with prediabetes stay off the track of the disease.

Type 1 diabetes isn’t avoidable for some, but Type 2 is.

“Prediabetes is actually a condition when blood sugars are high, but not necessarily high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes,” United Regional Transition Clinic Manager of Chronic Disease Jessica Sanchez said. “It can be where their body produces insulin, but their body’s not able to actually use that insulin effectively enough to keep that blood sugar low or maybe their pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin.”

Not only is it a life-threatening disease if not managed, but it’s also not cheap.

Insulin prices are rising and it’s hurting a large portion of our population.

“An estimated 34.2 million people of all ages actually have a diagnosis of diabetes, that’s 10.5% of our national population,” Sanchez said.

The statistics are alarming locally, too.

“It actually is one of the top three diseases in Wichita County,” Sanchez said. “It was the 7th leading cause of death in Wichita County in 2017.”

That’s why Sanchez said the clinic picked up on a program by the CDC for diabetes prevention.

“You have to weigh every time that you come, you have to produce your activity log so you really are held accountable for those things,” Sanchez said. “Each week is a different lesson, they build upon each other so the information just kind of gradually keeps getting more and more.”

Five certified lifestyle coaches are on hand to teach the group long-term healthy lifestyle habits.

“They have all the tools that they need to help teach these participants how to eat healthier, how to increase their activity level so that they can have a better quality of life so that they’ll have more energy to do the things they love,” Sanchez said. “Plus the great thing about it too in that group setting is that you do have the support of a group and that lifestyle coach to help keep you accountable.”

Those eligible must be 18 years or older, have a BMI of greater than 25 and be considered high risk for the disease.

They also can’t be pregnant and can not have been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

“We just wanna give that information so that they have the tools they need in their little box to be successful,” Sanchez said.

Equipping those on the track to diabetes so they know how to lap back around to a healthier life.

The program is one hour each week for 16 weeks, then once a month for six months.

Those who qualify can talk to their doctor about the program or call the Transition Clinic for more information.

The number to the Transition Clinic is (940) 764-8725.

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