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Programs & Services

Do you have prediabetes or diabetes? If so, you are not alone. Nearly half of adults in Iowa have been diagnosed with diabetes or are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

The good news is that there are ways to prevent or delay diabetes while also reducing the risk of other serious complications, like heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Iowa HHS and community partners offer low-cost, effective programs to support diabetes prevention and management so Iowans can have a happier, healthier quality of life. 

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Diabetes Prevention

Prediabetes means your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This condition can persist for years without any noticeable symptoms while you are at risk of developing other serious health conditions like heart disease and stroke.

Do You Have Prediabetes? Take the Quiz.

Learn more about your risk for prediabetes. Take the 7-question Prediabetes Screening Test. Share your score with your doctor and ask about steps you can take to improve your health. 

The test is also available in Spanish and: 

Arabic | Bengali | Chinese (Simplified) | Chinese (Traditional) | French | Haitian Creole | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Polish | Urdu | Yiddish

Risk Factors for Prediabetes

Talk with your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes, including if you are: 

  • Overweight.
  • Age 45 or older. 
  • Have a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes.
  • Are physically active less than three times a week.
  • Have a history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds.
  • Have polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Are an African American, Hispanic or Latino American, American Indian or Alaskan Native person (some Pacific Islander people and Asian American people also have a higher risk).

Get more information about risk factors for prediabetes, its effects and what you can do to prevent type 2 diabetes. Download this fact sheet, which is also available in Spanish and: 

Arabic | Burmese | Chuukese Farsi | French | Karen | Marshallese | Vietnamese

Lifestyle Change Program

If you want to make healthy changes to prevent type 2 diabetes, a lifestyle change program can offer support to build better habits that can last a lifetime. 

Topics include eating healthy, adding physical activity to your routine, managing stress, staying motivated and solving problems that can get in the way of your goals with the support of: 

  • Lessons, handouts and other resources to help you make healthy changes.
  • A specially trained lifestyle coach to provide education, motivation and engagement. 
  • A support group of people with similar goals and challenges to share ideas, celebrate successes and work to overcome obstacles. 

Talk with your healthcare provider and find more information below. 

Diabetes Prevention for Healthcare Providers

The National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) is a partnership of public and private organizations working together to make it easier for people to participate in the evidence-based lifestyle change program. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approves the PreventT2 curriculum and offers it to facilitators for free. 

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Diabetes Self-Management Educations and Support

Whether you are newly diagnosed with diabetes or have been living with it for years, diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) can provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to handle daily care of your condition and improve your overall quality of life. 

With personalized and group coaching options, you will work with your diabetes care team and an education specialist to create a plan to help you: 

  • Improve your hemoglobin A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Have fewer or less severe diabetes complications.
  • Save money on healthcare costs. 
  • Reduce the need for emergency care.
  • Stay on track with your treatment plan and prescriptions.
  • Learn practical tips for eating healthy, being active and solving problems.
  • Handle the emotional side of diabetes. 

Ask your doctor for a referral to a DSMES program to get help managing your diabetes.

DSMES for Healthcare Providers

While DSMES is highly effective in improving health and diabetes management skills, less than 7% of eligible patients participate within the first year of diagnosis, according to the CDC. Healthcare providers like you are the best way to increase access to these essential services. 

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Chronic Disease Self-Management (Better Choices, Better Health) Program

Diabetes can affect nearly every aspect of a person’s life and often accompanies other serious conditions. The chronic disease self-management program (CDSMP), known in Iowa as Better Choices, Better Health, supports adults living with various chronic conditions through an evidence-based approach. 

Better Choices, Better Health focuses on:

  • Teaching disease management skills.
  • Building confidence. 
  • Improving physical and psychological well-being.

Groups range in size from 8 to 16 participants and meet for two hours a week for six weeks. Activities include:

  • Interactive discussions, brainstorming, action-planning and feedback, behavior modeling, problem-solving techniques, and decision-making.
  • Symptom management activities include exercise, relaxation, communication, healthy eating, medication management, and managing fatigue. 

Ask your doctor how to locate a Better Choices, Better Health program near you. 

Chronic Disease Self-Management for Healthcare Providers

Studies show that people who participate in chronic disease self-management programs like Better Choices, Better Health significantly improve and maintain healthy behaviors, lowering their risks for further complications. 

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