According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Are you one of the 29 million Americans suffering from type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes? Fighting diabetes doesn’t have to be done alone.
By taking one step at a time, Tanner Health System’s Get Healthy, Live Well is helping diabetics successfully manage their condition and get support from other people living with diabetes. Living Well with Diabetes, which was created at Stanford University, teaches participants about what diabetes means for their bodies. Group support and camaraderie are also important parts of the program.
“Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming so Get Healthy, Live Well is offering these free classes to help diabetics take back control over their body and overall health,” said Jamie Brandenburg, Get Healthy, Live Well’s chronic disease outreach coordinator.
The classes explore various treatment options, while also discussing how to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
“An important part of managing diabetes is meal planning, which helps control diabetes and decrease complications,” said Brandenburg. “A healthy meal plan includes eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods every day.”
Other topics covered in the Living Well with Diabetes program include exercise, techniques to deal with symptoms, appropriate use of medications and working more effectively with healthcare providers. Participants make weekly action plans, share experiences and help each other solve problems they encounter while carrying out their self-management plans.
A study found that people who participated in the Living Well with Diabetes program reduced their A1C levels. A1C is the measure of a person’s average blood glucose level over the last two to three months. The study also found that participants reduced their rates of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.
Other results include a reduction of medication, enhanced physical fitness and weight loss. For people with type 2 diabetes, losing just 10 percent of their body weight can cut blood sugar levels by half. Participants also had significant improvements in healthy eating, reading food labels, depression, communicating with physicians, patient activation and self-efficacy.
Get Healthy, Live Well’s Living Well with Diabetes program is available to anyone who has received a clinical diagnosis of diabetes. Classes are held at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa. New sessions begin monthly.
Class size is limited, so register early. To sign up for an upcoming class, call 770.214.CARE or register online atwww.GetHealthyLiveWell.org.