UAB’s Kirklin Clinic Chosen to be Part of National Diabetes Prevention Program


Man goes for a walk to help prevent diabetesThe American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) has chosen the Kirklin Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to be a part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program. This program is designed to help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in adults 18 years or older who are considered to be at risk for this disease. How does it do this? The national program works by helping participants make a series of evidence-based lifestyle changes to fight the onset of diabetes.

If you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes, then you can visit UAB’s website and sign up to be a part of the AADE National Diabetes Prevention Program. There is also a video which will explain more about this program and an online quiz that’ll help visitors determine their risk for diabetes.

Qualifications for this Diabetes Prevention Program

Logically, there are a few qualifications that need to be met in order to enroll in this diabetes program. Applicants must meet the age and BMI (body mass index) requirements, as well as have had a blood test indicating prediabetes within the past year. Women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes are also eligible for this program.

“As the number of Americans with prediabetes grows, we face the certainty of increasing disease, disability and health care expense,” explains Terri Brennan, educational supervisor for diabetes and nutrition at the Kirklin Clinic. “That’s especially true here in Alabama where we have an obesity epidemic. The National Diabetes Prevention Program offers a proven approach to delaying or preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”

The Most Common Type of Diabetes

As it stands, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes (accounting for more than 90 percent of all cases). It is a very serious illness which could lead to a number of life-threatening complications if not properly managed. Studies have shown that high levels of glucose can contribute to the development of blindness, heart attacks, stroke, and kidney failure.

To make matters worse, nearly a third of all American adults have prediabetes, and most don’t know it. Prediabetes is classified as having a blood sugar level which is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. The CDC estimates that at least 10 percent of the people who are prediabetic will have type 2 diabetes within the next three years.

The Advantages of Interventional Therapy

Clinical trials for diabetes have shown how interventional therapy can prevent this disease, which shows how important this program is. The participants in UAB’s program will meet regularly with a lifestyle coach who will teach them how to make healthier changes in their lives. Participants are encouraged to be more physically active in order to help maintain a healthy weight, as well as taught stress management techniques.

“The group setting provides a supportive environment with people who are facing similar challenges and trying to make the same changes you are,” explains Brennan. “Together, you can celebrate successes and figure out ways to overcome obstacles.”

For the first sixteen weeks, participants will meet once a week, then once a month for the next half year. The program’s curriculum is based on studies that show people can cut their type 2 diabetes risk by as much as 50 percent just by dropping a small percentage of their body weight. This can be achieved through an improved diet and moderate exercise throughout the week.



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