November is National Diabetes Month. To reach those at risk for type 2 diabetes, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is sharing success stories from our nationally recognized, CDC-certified Diabetes Prevention Program.
Julie Leslie from Commerce Township is almost finished with the Diabetes Prevention Program. Since she started the program in February 2018 at Henry Ford West Bloomfield, she has lost 31 lbs., lowered her blood cholesterol and reduced her A1C from 6.4 to 5.9. A1C is a blood test that measures your blood sugar over two to three months and is one of the tests used to diagnose prediabetes, a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels that indicate a progression to type 2 diabetes. A 62-year-old retired paraprofessional from the Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, Julie is very happy with the results and wants people to know that the program works.
Julie’s blood sugar and A1C had been creeping up over the years. When her physician told her that she had prediabetes, she knew she had to do something. She has watched her mom suffer from type 2 diabetes.
She states that tracking her food intake was the hardest part of the program but it was also the most eye-opening. She had not realized how much fat she was consuming. She learned to eat better and consume fewer processed foods. She had never learned to cook, so she signed up for a meal preparation service so she could learn. She also discovered lots of ways to cook without fat and welcomed the alternative recipes the group would share at the weekly classes. Fortunately, she was already physically active, which is a key component of the program. Julie walks her dog and attends Zumba classes.
She had never joined anything like this before but says she was very motivated. Other past participants in her group have reversed their diagnoses of prediabetes and have been able to discontinue other medications. “The group makes you do good. People really care about how you’re doing,” states Julie. She encourages people to sign up for the DPP when it’s offered in their area.