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AHEC West offering free Diabetes Prevention Program

AHEC West is offering a free lifestyle-management program designed to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
The first of the weekly, hour-long Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPP) will be held at George’s Creek Library beginning Sept. 5. The sessions continue for 16 weeks, followed by six months of monthly follow-up sessions. The roughly year-long program requires only 22 total hours of participation.
Conducted in cooperation with the Western Maryland Health System and the Allegany County Health Department, the AHEC West DPP program focuses on lifestyle changes such as proper diet, regular exercise, and stress management that have been shown to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
A chronic condition that inhibits the body’s ability to properly process blood sugar, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, afflicting 30 million people in the U.S.  An estimated 84 million Americans have pre-diabetes, with 90 percent unaware of the condition. Within five years, up to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes, leaving them at risk for serious health complications including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and loss of toes, feet, or legs due to poor circulation.
The DPP program is designed help those with pre-diabetes modify their lifestyle before the condition deteriorates to type 2 diabetes. “With DPP we review modest lifestyle changes like eating better, incorporating activity and movement into daily lives, and managing stress,” said Catie Wampole, Network Director of the Mountain Health Alliance at AHEC West. “It’s a supportive environment that brings people together to overcome obstacles and celebrate successes.”
Designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the DPP program is a proven approach to preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes with the support of trained lifestyle coaches.
To determine whether you might have pre-diabetes, take an online self-assessment at DoIHavePrediabetes.org. If the results indicate you might have pre-diabetes, enroll in the class by contacting Catie Wampole at AHEC West, 240-362-7715 or by email at cwampole@ahecwest.org. You can also talk to your doctor about being referred to the DPP class.
Additional DPP classes are being planned at locations around Allegany County.