If your blood glucose levels are elevated, you could have pre-diabetes and not know it

    Have you heard of pre-diabetes and wondered to yourself if it’s really a “thing”? How can you have a “pre” disease? You either have it or you don’t have it, right? Wrong. According to the American Diabetes Association, if your doctor determines that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, you are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

    “Doctors sometimes refer to pre-diabetes as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), depending on what test was used when it was detected,” says diabetes.org. “This condition puts you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.”

    While there are no clear symptoms of pre-diabetes, you could have it and not know it.

    For some people, early treatment can actually return blood glucose levels to the normal range. Research has shown that if you lose weight and exercise moderately, you could reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes by over 50 percent.


    The University of Minnesota Extension has partnered with Altru Clinic in Crookston to offer an “I CAN Prevent Diabetes” program for people with pre-diabetes to help them prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes through increased physical activity and weight loss. SNAP-Ed Educator Megan Hruby, a certified lifestyle coach through the National Diabetes Prevention Program, partnered with Altru’s Jami Mathews and Janelle Porter to teach the year-long class.

    “It’s a lifestyle change program geared towards losing weight and increasing physical activity, and to decrease your risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes,” Hruby explained. “To be eligible for this class, you must be at least 18 years of age, at risk for, but NOT currently diagnosed with diabetes, overweight, and not pregnant.”

    “I offer hands-on skills related to nutrition and physical activity that participants learn during the class, even some taste testing!” she added. “At the beginning of the class, participants meet weekly for a total of 16 weeks for one hour, then monthly after that.”

    During a February 3 session held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, program participants were taught to recognize the link between sitting still and Type 2 diabetes, and helped to identify some challenges of taking fitness breaks and ways to cope with them. They also took a fitness break and went around the room with a deck of cards. What ever suit they picked, they all participated in a different exercise. Hearts = Cardio (jog or march in place), Diamonds = Bone Strengthening (jumping jacks), Clubs = Muscle Strengthening (bicep curls), and Spades = Flexibility/Stretching (hip circles, arm stretches.)

    Altru Clinic and the U of M Extension are offering another class this year in March. To find out more information and to see if you are eligible, call Megan Hruby at 281-8688 or Jami Mathews at 281-9176.


    RiverView Health also offers a free year-long community-based lifestyle change program for people with pre-diabetes. The program is recognized through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as using evidence-based information and best practices to promote healthy eating, weight loss, and physical activity. The group meets at RiverView through mid-June, and, once the weekly sessions are complete, support and additional learning sessions are offered on a monthly basis from July through December.

    Each week, participants engage in informational classes with a variety of topics and go home with helpful handouts, tips and activities.

    “We are extremely excited to empower people to take control of their health and prevent long term complications from diabetes,” shared RiverView Health Coach Kelsey Billing, RN BSN.

    According to research, 86 million Americans have pre diabetes - that’s one out of three adults. Of those 86 million, nine out of 10 don’t even know they have it. People with pre-diabetes not only have a higher risk of developing diabetes, but also heart disease and stroke.

    Without intervention, 15 to 30 percent of people with pre-diabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years.

    “You don’t have to accept the fate of becoming diabetic. You can fight to reverse your path and become a champion of your health.”

    To learn more about RiverView’s pre-diabetes program, call Dietician Darcey Larsen, RD LD, at 281-9589 or Billing at 281-9259.