The past couple of years have brought many challenges to our families and communities, and we’ve come to recognize the importance of taking care of both our mental and physical health. Having good health impacts everything we do and the life we love.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 88 million US adults have prediabetes, meaning they have higher blood sugar levels than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. More than 8 in 10 of those with prediabetes don’t know they have it. Prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes but can be preventable with lifestyle changes.

Type 2 diabetes can put limits on what you enjoy most – having the health and energy for family, work, and hobbies that make life meaningful. It can also increase your risk for other serious health conditions like heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. Type 2 diabetes isn’t reversible, but the good news is that prediabetes is! Every November, we recognize National Diabetes Month as a chance to share the risks of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes and to let you know about a proven program that can help you reverse prediabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes.

Powell Valley Healthcare in collaboration with Northwest College Community Education, offers a lifestyle change program called PREVENT T2, to help adults with prediabetes add healthy habits into their everyday lives as part of CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP). Starting in the new year PREVENT T2 will kick off its first session on Tuesday, January 11th in an in-person format. The session runs from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. The program will be held at NWC’s Trapper West campus in the community education building at 1397 Fort Drum Drive in Powell.

In the program, you’ll meet people like you who are also working to improve their health and lower their risk for type 2 diabetes. Our trained Lifestyle Coaches lead the program and will help you find what works best for you and encourage you on your health journey.

Here’s what participants from last year’s program had to say about PREVENT T2 – “Thank you for doing the T2 class! The skills and knowledge you shared have and are continuing to motivate me to work towards a heathier lifestyle. You really helped me stick to it and I am so thankful. The program exceeded my expectations.” (Sue W.) Another participant said “I really enjoyed the whole program. The personal goals I achieved were meeting my weight loss goal and gaining healthier eating habits. The areas which helped me achieve my goals were the support of the leaders and group members. Sharing similar experiences with other members of the program gave me encouragement and support to keep attending the weekly sessions. Making small changes over time was key for me.” (Barry S)

While the benefits speak for themselves, it can feel overwhelming to think about how to live healthier. You may think you don’t have the time to be more active or the desire to give up all your favorite foods. With the lifestyle change program, though, we celebrate your life and show how living healthy can add to that, not take away from it. It’s possible to make small changes that make a big difference, like adding some extra veggies to your favorite meal or playing outside with a pet or your grandkids to be more active.

Participants in the program aim to lose 5-7% of their body weight, which is 10-14 pounds for a 200-pound adult. They also aim to get 150 minutes of physical activity each week. People in the lifestyle change program who make these changes can cut their risk of type 2 diabetes in half.

We want you to enjoy your best life, full of time with family, friends, and the activities you care about. By taking steps to eat healthier, get more physical activity, solve problems that can slow your progress, and manage stress, you can set yourself up to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. You do so much for others, so make sure to take some time for yourself too and learn more today about the lifestyle change program.

What steps can you take to make healthy habits a priority? Take CDC’s 1-minute prediabetes risk test. For more information, call Tina Braet-Thomas at 307-754-2267, ext. 3604 or by email – . Let’s celebrate life this National Diabetes Month and start your path to better health!