Living at risk with pre-diabetes and not knowing it
In the Fall of 2016, Kyle Collins needed to complete an annual blood screening, a benefit offered through his employer, Northeast Iowa Community College. Collins, a husband and father of two young boys, is a healthy, active man who enjoys spending his free time with family. So when his blood glucose (sugar) levels reported to be higher than normal it raised some concerns.
Fortunately, Winneshiek Medical Center (WMC) was offering a free diabetes screening where glucose levels would be checked at no charge. Collins took advantage of this screening, and again the report came in high, indicating pre-diabetes. However with the expertise of Jean Irvin, WMC diabetes education coordinator, and Angie Kerndt, dietitian, Collins was able to gain more information about the proper avenues to overcome pre-diabetes through an educational class.
WMC offers a diabetes screening twice a year, along with a Pre-Diabetes course three times a year, for individuals whose blood glucose is higher than normal. “We focus our class on nutrition counseling, portion control, physical activity, and label reading to show participants the importance of healthy eating habits, and how those impact your glucose levels,” says Irvin. The course is $25 and provides informational handouts on healthy tips for eating out, along with a portion control plate to show a visual of how much fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and dairy is needed per meal.
“The class wasn’t a structural to do and not to do,” says Collins. “It was more of a hands on, practical informative course that provided real life examples, and great educational materials to assist with meal prepping daily. What I learned throughout the class isn’t only impacting my life, but also the life of my family.”
WMC diabetes team consists of a registered dietitian and nurse, who work collaboratively with your primary physician to develop a personal care plan to meet your health needs. To learn more about the Pre-Diabetes classes, support groups, and screenings offered at Winneshiek Medical Center, please contact Jean Irvin or Angie Kerndt at 563-382-2911.