Did you know 57 million people in this country are considered "pre-diabetic"? That means if they don't make changes to their lifestyle they will get Type 2 diabetes. We met a Sioux Falls woman who went from being dangerously close to diabetes to healthy thanks to the Pre-diabetes Education Program at Avera McKennan.
Last year Jeanette Justice found out her fasting blood sugar levels were only 5 points away from making her a Type 2 diabetic (you have a fasting blood sugar of 100-125).
Registered Nurse Mary Oyos is the Manager of Avera McKennan's Diabetes Program. She says, " Both types of diabetes are serious. Type 1 diabetes means the pancreas doesn't make any insulin so people will always have to take insulin injections or have an insulin pump. Type 2 diabetes means the pancreas makes insulin but it's just not using the insulin effectively and so you can control it sometimes with healthy eating and activity and sometimes by taking pills and sometimes with insulin."
Once you get Type 2 diabetes there's no turning back, you can't reverse it. You can prevent it though and that's exactly what Jeanette did. She called Registered Nurse Mary Oyos and enrolled in Avera McKennan's Pre-diabetes Education Program.
Jeanette says, "They taught us a lot of real life things. Like what a portion size looks like in real life. A portion of pasta is the size of my fist. I also learned how my body worked with sugars. It's helped me a lot and I learned to read labels. I read a lot of labels."
Jeanette also learned she had to eat 3 snacks a day to keep her blood sugar more level throughout the day. One in the morning, one in the afternoon and one before bedtime. Each snack can be one serving of carbohydrate. Carbs change to sugar in the body if not burned off, so it has to be a healthy carb like fruit. A healthy portion size for a banana is 4 inches. Instead of carrying a tape measure around with her she knows on her hand the banana can be from her index finger to the crook of her thumb to be the right size.
Jeanette has lost 10 pounds, exercises 5 times a week for 30 minutes doing cardio and pays attention to everything she eats.
Jeanette says, "I know once you get Type 2 diabetes you can't go back. This I can change. I just don't want to deal with diabetes. I know it's probably in my future but I want to keep it as far away as possible for as long as possible.
Mary says, "It's also hereditary. Women who have gestational diabetes are at higher risk for becoming pre-diabetic or type 2 diabetic, which is the case for Jeanette."
There are so many things in this world we can't control, for the most part, becoming type 2 diabetic isn't out of our hands if you get you get tested. Jeanette took action to control her blood sugar levels (which she tests once a month) and is now out of the pre-diabetic danger zone and she plans to keep it that way.
Avera McKennan is offering a pre-diabetes education class starting on April 21st for 2 hours and a follow up class in May. Call 605-322-8995 for more information or click to learn about other Diabetes Programs.