MCMH Program Seeks to Stop Diabetes Before it Starts

Maine Coast Memorial Hospital is offering a program for people who are at risk of developing diabetes or have been told they are “pre-diabetic”.

Small Steps-Big Rewards is a two-hour program given by a member of the Diabetes Education team to teach the positive steps one can take to avoid or postpone the onset of diabetes.

The course is open to the public. Melissa Frye, MS, RD, LD will be leading the session.  Melissa is a familiar face as she is at the Ellsworth Hannaford twice a week to help shoppers with their food choices as well as in The Ellsworth American as the featured nutrition dietitian for the I Resolve project.

Ten years ago, we only knew how to treat diabetes, now we know it can be prevented. The results of the Diabetes Prevention Program demonstrated that simple lifestyle changes have a big impact; participants were able to reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent through healthy lifestyle changes such as improving eating habits and increasing physical activity.

Maine’s Bureau of Health estimates that 40 percent of people age 40-74 have pre-diabetes. Obesity, one of the major risk factors for diabetes, is one of Hancock County’s largest health problems.

People with pre-diabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic. Pre-diabetics have a 50 percent risk of cardiovascular disease. About 23 percent of pre-diabetics will develop diabetes within 3 years if they do not make lifestyle changes.

Once diabetes sets in, the problems mushroom and lead to much higher rates of cardiovascular disease, amputations, blindness, and kidney disease.

On Tuesday, February 8, from 10 a. m.  to noon, come learn how to prevent these problems from developing. The program will be offered in the Medical Office Building Classroom (Door C) at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital.

Preregistration is required. There is a fee of $15 per person, which covers the take-home materials. Call the Diabetes and Nutrition Center at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital at 664-5475 to preregister or for more information visit

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