The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall is the public information director of the Henry/Stark Health Departments.
Blog: November is Diabetes Awareness Month
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By Henry Health
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Nov. 26, 2012 10 a.m.

The Henry and Stark County Health Departments note that November has
been designated as American Diabetes Month. Nearly 26 million children and
adults have diabetes and an additional 79 million are at-risk for developing
type 2 diabetes. Obviously, this disease is taking a devastating physical,
emotional and financial toll on our country. Yet, most Americans don't
consider diabetes a serious matter. They feel it is someone else's
responsibility; someone else's problem.
The Health Department staff, along with the American Diabetes
Association (ADA), wants to raise awareness about the importance of knowing
the risk factors and symptoms associated with diabetes; as well as, its
serious and life-threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke,
blindness, kidney disease and amputation.
Diabetes is dangerous because high blood sugar isn't usually something
you can feel. Many people have no outward type 2 diabetes symptoms at all
and can go years without being diagnosed.
That's why it's important to be aware of the type 2 diabetes symptoms
and risk factors for diabetes. Get screened by a health care provider if
you have the following type 2 diabetes symptoms:
* Being unusually thirsty
* Having to urinate often
* Feeling hungry all the time
* Losing weight (without trying)
* Having blurry vision
* Feeling very tired
* Frequent infections
* Cuts and sores that heal slowly
As many as half of all Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed. Without
proper diagnosis, other complications caused by high blood sugar can slowly
Experts agree that there are certain lifestyle and genetic risk factors
for type 2 diabetes. People who are the greatest risk of developing
diabetes include those who:
* Are age 45 or older
* Are overweight
* Have a family member (such as a parent, brother or sister) with diabetes
* Are not physically active
* Are African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific
* Have had high blood sugar levels in the past
* Have had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
* Have high blood pressure
* Have low "good" cholesterol
* Have a high level of fats (triglycerides) in the blood.
If you are over age 45, talk with your health care provider about being
tested for diabetes, especially if you are overweight or have family members
with the condition. Regardless of your age, if you are overweight and have
one or more of the other risk factors listed, the ADA suggests that you be
tested for diabetes now. Therefore, the Department announces that, in honor
of American Diabetes Month; for the month of November, Blood Sugar checks
are available through their clinic offices in Kewanee and Colona Free-of
Charge. Appointments are not necessary and walk-in are welcome.
In addition, the Health Department Home Health Staff is available for
Diabetes educational programs. To arrange a presentation or for more
information on Home Health Services call the Health Department at (309)
852-0197 or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on
Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments. In addition, for
more information about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association Web
site www.diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES.

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