More diabetes awareness sought

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More diabetes awareness sought

Post by Admin on Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:19 am

COLUMBUS — An annual event is helping to address a national epidemic.

Diabetes Awareness Day, held Thursday at Platte County Agricultural Park, provided information on the disease and health screenings for the public.

This was the ninth year the event has been held, and Joan Plummer, registered dietitian with Columbus Community Hospital, said the focus has continued to be on education.

“We wanted to bring awareness to the community and also use the proceeds to benefit people with diabetes. We use the money to send kids to (diabetes) camp. We also use the money for those who don’t have insurance to help pay for their education,” Plummer said.

Nationally, more than 25 million people have diabetes. Another 79 million are prediabetic. In Platte County, 1,700 people have the disease, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

People with diabetes have high blood sugar levels that are the result of the body not producing enough or not using insulin properly. Insulin helps regulate glucose (sugar) in the body. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body stops making insulin. It makes up about 10 percent of all the diabetes cases and is most often diagnosed in young children.

The majority of diabetes cases today are type 2, or adult-onset. But more and more younger individuals are being diagnosed with this kind of diabetes.

“Type 2 used to just be a disorder of adults. But what it is linked to is family history, weight and inactivity,” said Mary Jo Burkhardt, registered nurse and certified diabetes educator.

The increase in the number of type 2 cases and prediabetes is directly linked to lifestyles, she said. People today aren’t getting as much exercise or eating a proper diet.

“It’s becoming an epidemic status because of the lifestyle. We are becoming heavier and heavier and heavier, and portion sizes are becoming bigger, and we don’t exercise as much,” she said.

Some risk factors for diabetes are uncontrollable, like being 45 or older and a family history of the disease. But changes, including eating a healthy diet and getting 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, can improve conditions of diabetics and also help reduce the chances of a person moving from a prediabetic to a diabetic state, Burkhardt said.

Education is the key to helping curb the growth of diabetes in the country, Burkhardt said, and Diabetes Awareness Day is helping to fulfill that.

The event held informational sessions, including traveling with diabetes and healthy cooking demonstrations, and several booths were on site with educational materials.

The event was sponsored by Columbus Community Hospital, Columbus Lions Club, The Columbus Telegram and Platte County Agricultural Society.
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