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Niagara County Department of Health offers free program to help community prevent diabetes


Wed, Nov 7th 2018 01:00 pm
Editorial by the Niagara County Department of Health
November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country team up to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes, while another 86 million have prediabetes. The total national cost of diagnosed diabetics is estimated to be around $245 billion.
This year's National Diabetes Month is focused on promoting health after gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Most of the time, gestational diabetes goes away after the baby is born. Even if the diabetes goes away, you have a greater chance of getting diabetes, and your child from that pregnancy is at future risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Half the women who had gestational diabetes developed type 2 diabetes.
You can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by losing a modest amount of weight by following a reduced-calorie eating plan and being physically active most days of the week.
The Niagara County Department of Health nursing division offers free diabetes prevention program workshops to help individuals reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. Sixteen one-hour weekly sessions are held to help participants set and achieve personal goals. The program is for individuals who have been diagnosed by their doctor as pre-diabetic. Each session covers eating plans to improve food choices, exercise and physical activity and lifestyle changes to help participants achieve two primary goals: to reduce and maintain individual weight loss and to participate in regular physical activity.
The classes are followed by six to eight monthly sessions designed to offer additional support and help in maintaining lifestyle changes.
Participants in the program who followed an effective diet and who exercised and practiced behavior modification reduced their risk for developing diabetes by 58 percent. For those over 60 years of age, by 71 percent. Participants are encouraged to have a family member, friend and/or caretaker register to take the course with them for additional support in dealing with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Nursing division also offers free diabetes self-management program workshops. This six-session health education program is for people with type 2 diabetes. Participants will learn how to better manage their health and maintain an active and fulfilling lifestyle. They will also learn problem-solving and decision-making skills so they can confront the ever-changing challenges of living with diabetes
For more information and/or to register for a workshop, call the Niagara County Department of Health nursing division at 716-278-1900.

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