Thrive by IU Health

April 21, 2021

Diabetes prevention program helped patient break the cycle

Diabetes prevention program helped patient break the cycle

She tried and she tried but she couldn’t seem to get in shape. When Cheryl Peglow learned about the IU Health Diabetes Prevention Program she also learned new routines.

By IU Health Senior Journalist T.J. Banes,

She’s dropped 14 pounds and Cheryl Peglow says she owes it all to the free program offered by IU Health.

The yearlong program “Cut Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk in Half” is offered virtually and will include topics on nutrition, stress management, and physical activity.

“One of the biggest things I learned is you don’t work out because you want to. It’s like brushing your teeth. You do it for the desired effect. It wasn’t really about a diet. It was a disease management approach,” said Peglow, who has worked at IU Health for 10 years in respiratory therapy.

The next Diabetes Prevention Program begins Wednesday, April 21 at 2 p.m. and will meet virtually every Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. for six months. After six months, the program will meet once or twice a month for the remaining six months. To register call Britney Merchant Program Coordinator at 317.962.3451.

Who is best suited for the program?

  • Those who are at least 18 years old or older.
  • Those with a body mass index (BMI) or 25 or greater (23 or greater for Asian Americans).
  • Those with a blood test in the past year indicating prediabetes.

The series is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The program is proven to cut the risk of diabetes in half when participants make modest lifestyle changes.

According to the CDC prediabetes is a serious health condition caused by elevated blood sugar levels. Approximately 88 million adults – more than one in three – have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes more than 84 percent don’t know they have it. Prediabetes can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Risk factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Having a parent or sibling with Type 2 diabetes.
  • Being physically active less than three times a week.
  • Ever having gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome.

Race is also a factor. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at a higher risk for diabetes.

Losing a small amount of weight (around five to seven percent of your body weight) and getting regular exercise can help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“I had been stuck for the past couple years. No matter what I did, I couldn’t lose even one pound. I couldn’t break the cycle,” said Peglow.

“Now, I’ve added daily exercise to my routine – as simple as walking,” said Peglow. “This was a very supportive program and because it was a virtual program it was even a better fit into my schedule.”

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