Diabetes Weight Loss Program

Whether you are pre-diabetic, newly-diagnosed, or have been dealing with Type I or Type II Diabetes for many years, safe and effective diabetes care and accurate diabetes education are essential. Since 2005, Structure House has given participants the option of adding the multi-disciplinary Diabetes Program to their treatment experience. Participants on the Diabetes Program receive state-of-the-art treatment and education regarding diet, exercise, glucose monitoring, medication management, and behavioral approaches to lowering glycemic levels. An essential aspect of the Diabetes Program is a weekly appointment with a board-certified endocrinologist from Duke University Medical Center.

Program Curriculum

Structure House understands that patients that have diabetes also have additional concerns and needs when coming into our program. Therefore, we have included a number of specialized activities to benefit our participants throughout the program:

  • Weekly medical appointments with board-certified Endocrinologist
  • Nutritional counseling with Certified Diabetes Educator/Registered Dietitian
  • Diabetes wellness classes with Certified Diabetes Educator/Registered Nurse
  • Exercise counseling related to diabetes
  • Group behavioral sessions with health behavior specialists

Diabetes Program Results

To give you a better idea of how successful our diabetes program has been, we have published research (American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 2011) on the effectiveness of our program, which showed the following results:

Seventy individuals (49 females, 21 males) completed four weeks on the specialized diabetes program at Structure House and provided data at baseline and 4-weeks post-treatment. At the end of the four-week treatment program, the following changes were observed:

At the end of the four week treatment program, the following changes are noted in these 70 patients:

Medical Parameter Entry Mean Exit Mean
Weight (lbs) 281.4 265.8
Body Mass Index 44.7 42.2
Waist Circumference 50.6 46.9
Fasting Blood Glucose 146.6 121.0
Hemoglobin Alc 7.5 6.9
Triglycerides 220.5 156.4
Total Cholesterol 186.2 142.2
LDL Cholesterol 99.0 68.4

The improvements achieved across these health indices were both statistically significant and clinically relevant. Of particular interest was the significant reduction in Hemoglobin A1c from 7.5 to 6.9 in 4 weeks. Historically, it has been thought that A1c levels were unlikely to show meaningful improvement within such a brief time period.

Remarkably, these improvements in markers of diabetic control were occurring with accompanying reductions in the number and dosages of diabetic medications. On average, patients in the diabetic program at Structure House were able to reduce their dosages in diabetic medications by 42% over the four week period of time in the lifestyle-based weight loss program. Within the group of 70 patients, 28 (41%) were able to eliminate at least one diabetic medication and 18 additional patients (26%) were able to decrease the dose of at least one medication by at least 50%. Overall, two-thirds (66%) of these 70 patients were able to discontinue or significantly reduce their dosage of at least one diabetic medication over a 4-week period. Eight percent (8%) of those who entered the program on diabetic medications had discontinued all diabetic medications at the end of the four weeks. The number of patients taking three or more diabetic medications at program entry decreased from 27 to 15 at exit.

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