Monday, May 19, 2014

State health department worker battles prediabetes

One in three Coloradans have prediabetes and most of them don’t know it. Prediabetes is a condition where a person’s blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Doctors say a person with prediabetes is likely to develop Type 2 diabetes within six years.
Mary Arneson got a diagnosis of prediabetes 2 ½ years ago. Instead of staying on the road toward Type 2 diabetes, Arneson made immediate lifestyle changes to turn that diagnosis around.
“Because I wanted to see my kids, and I want to make sure that they have what all they need. It changed my life a lot,” Arneson told CBS4.
Arneson is a quality compliance officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Despite working hours behind a desk, she has succeeded in losing about 100 pounds. She started by taking the Diabetes Prevention Program offered by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. The program includes 16 weeks of classes in which Arneson learned how to read labels and make healthy substitutions in her cooking.
“The class really works,” Arneson added.
Arneson also got moving. She walks during the 30-minute exercise break at work, she works out at the gym three times a week and she says she leads a more active life. She’s also started eating salad every day for lunch.
“Never had eaten a salad in my life, ever,” Arneson said
Arneson’s diabetes is under control, and she’s enjoying all the benefits of weight loss.
“Fitting in an airplane seat to go see my kids. It’s amazing … just to have the seatbelt fit you,” Arneson said.
The CDPHE encourages everyone to get their blood sugar tested to find out if they’re prediabetic. The CDPHE offers the Diabetes Prevention Program throughout the year. You can find out about classes near you by calling 1-800-DIABETES (342-2383)
Written for by Special Projects Producer Libby Smith
To view the broadcast of this story, go to CBS Denver.

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