Edward-Elmhurst Health offers diabetes prevention program

December 03, 2015

Edward-Elmhurst Health is offering Jumpstart Your Health to help community members make lasting changes to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, 37 percent of U.S. adults (51 percent of those 65 and older) have a condition called prediabetes. 

Having prediabetes means a person’s blood glucose (sugar) level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. However, it may lead to type 2 diabetes, a serious condition which can cause heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and circulatory problems. A person may have prediabetes if they:

  • Are 45 years of age or older
  • Are overweight
  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Are physically active fewer than three times per week
  • Had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds

Jumpstart Your Health is a year-long program that incorporates lifestyle changes to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. The program stresses weight loss and moderate physical activity, which has proven successful in preventing or delaying diabetes in people who have or are at risk for prediabetes. Jumpstart Your Health includes:

  • 16 weekly group sessions followed by six monthly sessions to help maintain healthy lifestyle changes
  • A trained lifestyle coach to guide and offer encouragement
  • The skills needed to lose weight, be more physically active and manage stress
  • Support from other participants with the same goals

"It is important to create awareness about prediabetes because most people with prediabetes do not know they have it,” says Julie Sanfilippo, RD, LDN, Lifestyle Coach at Elmhurst Hospital’s Diabetes Learning Center. “With time many of these people will progress to type 2 diabetes. Early detection is key because with small lifestyle changes, increased physical activity and weight loss, diabetes can be prevented or delayed. Through Jumpstart Your Health, we want to empower people to make these changes and have a better chance for a healthy future."

Jumpstart Your Health will be offered at a variety of locations throughout the area beginning in January. There is no cost to participants thanks to support from the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Foundation and grant funding from the Lions Club International Foundation, Lions District 1-J and Elmhurst Lions Club. The program is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention effort.

To learn if you qualify for this program, Elmhurst Hospital and the B.R. Ryall YMCA of Northwestern DuPage County in Glen Ellyn will offer free prediabetes screenings starting in January. For more information and screening days/times, call (331) 221-0429. If you’ve already been told by your physician that you have prediabetes, call to register for the program at (331) 221-0429.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/statsreport14/prediabetes-infographic.pdf.