Did you know that you can help others reduce their prediabetes symptoms and live healthier, more fulfilled lives?
Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are some of the most prevalent chronic diseases nationwide. And it’s no wonder because of our predisposition as humans to choose the easy route when it comes to food. It’s normal for us to hop in the drive-thru and order something that doesn’t do our blood sugar any favors.
Before we know it, the side effects from those fast food runs — especially if soda gets thrown into the mix — start to add up, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels and prediabetes.
However, just because someone has chosen a less-than-beneficial lifestyle for their blood sugar doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. With proper lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet and exercise, it’s possible to slow the effects of elevated blood sugar, prevent Type 2 diabetes, and even reverse a prediabetes diagnosis!
Phil Trotter, the founder of Realizing DPP, recently joined host Rebecca Turner on the Good Things Podcast to discuss the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in Mississippi and how RDPP is working to reduce the effects of Type 2 and prediabetes in the state through prevention.
If you’re looking for a way to help others with your career or learn more about the effect of diabetes in Mississippi’s community, this article is for you!
The Prevalence of Type 2 and Prediabetes in Mississippi
As you may already know, diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States. Over ten percent of the nation’s population is currently living with diagnosed Type 2 diabetes, and the CDC estimates that over 7 million people in the country don’t even know they have Type 2 diabetes.
Out of all fifty states, Mississippi currently ranks third highest in Type 2 diabetes diagnosis, with nearly 15 percent of the adult population diagnosed with the condition. When you look at prediabetes statistics, that number jumps significantly:
“Mississippi typically ranks number one or two in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes every year, [right now we’re third]. And about a third of the population [is living with a prediabetes diagnosis].” – Phil Trotter
One in three people in Mississippi is living with prediabetes, and if that diagnosis progresses to Type 2, the amount they spend on medical treatment throughout the year rises significantly. In fact, those living with Type 2 diabetes spend over double on medical expenses than someone without the condition.
Here’s the good news: People living with prediabetes aren’t guaranteed to develop Type 2 diabetes. If someone receives a prediabetes diagnosis, they can significantly reduce its symptoms by living a healthier lifestyle and even reverse it altogether!
Distinctions Between the Prevention and Management of Type 2 Diabetes
It seems like every time you hear about Type 2 diabetes, negative connotations follow. People typically focus on the severe symptoms of the disease, the fact that it’s a lifelong diagnosis, or how costly it is to manage.
However, one thing that’s usually left out is that people can prevent Type 2 diabetes from ever occurring in their life!
Consistent yearly checkups with primary care physicians, proper diet, increased exercise, and reforming unhealthy habits can all prevent Type 2 diabetes. Research from the CDC shows that people who choose the path of lifestyle changes can decrease their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 58%! 71%!
In addition to using prevention as the best way to fight Type 2 diabetes, prevention also has a significantly lower fiscal impact. Diabetes management is both complex and costly — medication, specialized clothing, and potential surgeries are expensive and require clinical care.
“Here we make the distinction between prevention and management [of Type 2 diabetes].
The management side is post-diagnosis. So once you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, that’s mainly a clinical care position. Diabetes prevention is lifestyle care. This is where we take programming [to stop diabetes from happening].” – Phil Trotter
Rather than wait until Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed and then try to treat the symptoms, diabetes prevention methods offer a proactive solution for those with prediabetes. One program that is working on expanding the influence of diabetes prevention is the National Diabetes Prevention Program or the National DPP.
What Is the National Diabetes Prevention Program?
In short, the National DPP is a group comprised of public and private organizations working to find ways to slow or prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
This group developed a CDC-approved curriculum designed to assist individuals in forming positive habits and unlocking the tools they need to prevent Type 2 diabetes. Although the program began in 2010, it is still trying to gain traction throughout the country.
“[The National DPP] started back in 2010, and it’s a recognized program that’s been promoted by the CDC. We started offereing this program on an unlimited basis throughout the state a few years back.” – Phil Trotter
One crucial part of the diabetes prevention program is the in-person instruction that participants receive through lifestyle coaches.
These lifestyle coaches train to learn the curriculum and distribute it to their cohorts of 15-20 people. By building a personal connection with their cohort, coaches can provide valuable support and accountability to help their participants achieve their diabetes prevention goals.
“Lifestyle is probably the biggest prevention opportunity that we have to slow, stop, and reverse the progression of this chronic disease. And the reason why there’s so much emphasis on type Type 2 diabetes is that it’s one of the most devastating chronic diseases in terms of physical, mental, and monetary cost.” – Phil Trotter
To carry out the National DPP’s goal in Mississippi, Phil has founded Realizing DPP — a lifestyle-coach-focused community dedicated to providing positive training and support for current and future lifestyle coaches.
Who Can Become a Lifestyle Coach in Mississippi Through Realizing DPP?
Anyone! To become a lifestyle coach, you don’t need special education or prior training — all you need is a heart for others and a desire to positively influence your community.
“It’s a non-licensed position. So, you don’t need to go through the arduous process of gaining a license, but there are certifications we provide. Really anyone can become a lifestyle coach.” – Phil Trotter
That being said, certain backgrounds can help you on your lifestyle coaching journey. Prior experience in the medical field or community-based service is a plus. The wealth of knowledge you have already gained as a nurse, paramedic, nutritionist, personal trainer, social worker, etc., will give you a unique perspective on how you approach lifestyle coaching.
“Any lifestyle background that you could think of would be helpful such as fitness or nutrition. If you’ve been a community health worker, social worker, first responder, or any of the community-based service backgrounds, it helps.” – Phil Trotter
If you’re reading this right now and don’t have a background in community-based service, don’t write yourself off! The most important aspect of lifestyle coaching is the willingness to learn and guide others, and those qualities are enough to set you up for success as a lifestyle coach.
What Does Coaching a Lifestyle Change Program Look Like?
Now that you know who can be a lifestyle coach let’s talk about what goes into leading a diabetes prevention group.
First off, even though becoming a lifestyle coach isn’t a licensed position that requires years of training and experience, you do need to complete training to become a coach. The first certification you need is the National DPP Training CDC-approved curriculum followed by Findhelp: Resource Utilization training which the Realizing DPP Community supplies at no cost to potential lifestyle coaches.
“We do have [potential coaches] complete a CPR course — that’s one thing they’ll need to learn to do. And any training they need to complete aside from is available at the community level.” – Phil Trotter
After completing your training, you have the opportunity to join the Realizing DPP Workforce. This app gives you coaching opportunities in your area and allows you to start building your cohort and making money as a lifestyle coach!
Lifestyle coaching cohorts consist of 15-25 people per group, and as the coach, you will lead them through a CDC-approved curriculum over the course of one year.
“We’re delivering [the diabetes prevention program] in person. The groups are anywhere from 15 to 25 individuals that qualify for prediabetes. We’re able to work with them directly on their fitness and exercise habits and diets.” – Phil Trotter
While leading your cohort, you will cover significant topics related to Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. This instruction will give your participants the tools they need to reduce their blood sugar levels and reverse their prediabetes diagnosis. And your coaching will focus primarily on getting active, forming positive habits, and how to build a healthy diet.
After the year program has concluded, the cycle repeats, and you are assigned another cohort to guide through the curriculum!
Change Lives by Joining the Realizing DPP Community Today
If you’re looking for a rewarding career that benefits your surrounding community, lifestyle coaching may be the answer you are looking for. Becoming a lifestyle coach gives you the opportunity to personally effect change in the lives of Mississippians living with a prediabetes diagnosis and helps them open the door to a happier, healthier, longer life.
To learn more about lifestyle coaching in Mississippi, join the Realizing DPP Community today!
There, you will find answers to questions you can’t find on Google, training opportunities to launch your coaching career, valuable resources to help guide your cohort, and a caring network of past and present lifestyle coaches who are ready to support you.
You can make a significant impact on the 1 in 3 people in Mississippi living with a prediabetes diagnosis, but the real question is: Are you ready to take that step?