Alan Reed | The Sun
Marie Hamilton of Paducah said she usually checks her blood sugar after meals. She said Sept. 17's Diabetes Expo at Lone Oak Church of Christ is good for everyone to attend because it may help catch diabetes in a person unaware he or she is at risk.
Alan Reed | The Sun
Albert Parker of Paducah checks his blood sugar at least four times a day. He said the Purchase District Health Department's Diabetes Expo on Sept. 17 is a good way to get the latest information on managing diabetes.
Up-to-date information, screenings and education are on the agenda at the 2011 Diabetes Expo.
The Expo is scheduled at the Lone Oak Church of Christ on Sept. 17 from 8 a.m. until noon. Judith Watson, certified diabetes educator at the Purchase District Health Department, said most exhibitors at the Expo are health care professionals like doctors, nurses, diabetes educators, physical fitness trainers nutritionists and those with products and education to help control diabetes. Admission and tests are free.
“People who are at risk for type-2 diabetes are often overweight and not physically active,” Watson said. “There is often a family history of diabetes. It can be dangerous if not controlled because it leads to serious health problems like heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, amputations because of poor circulation, infections and oral diseases.”
Julie Muscarella, a certified diabetes educator at the Purchase District Health Department, said the other common form of diabetes is called type-1. It has no known cause and appears to be an auto-immune disorder that attacks the pancreas’ ability to manufacture insulin, a hormone that allows the body to break down sugars to create energy. Type-1 diabetics must inject themselves with insulin to be able to break down sugars consumed from foods.
“Fifty-eight percent of people diagnosed as pre-diabetic (type 2) can delay the onset of the disease by losing five to seven percent of their body weight and increasing physical activity.,” Muscarella said.
Watson said many type-2 diabetics can control their disease with proper diet and exercise. Oral medication can control more advanced cases, while the most severe must take insulin.
The Expo also offers information on free classes, blood sugar meters or vouchers to obtain one and recipes. Screenings include blood sugar levels and A1C, a test Watson said measures blood sugar levels over a period of months.
Marie Hamilton of Paducah said she was diagnosed with a pre-diabetic condition about 7 years ago. She controls her condition by avoiding carbohydrates and excess sugars. Her mother and grandmother also suffered from type-2 diabetes. She also checks her blood sugar before and after meals and fears she may eventually need medication to control diabetes.
“The Expo reinforces things we already know and offers education about things we haven’t heard before and new information,” Hamilton said. “The speakers are always really good, and the health evaluations are important. There are a number of people that aren’t aware they are at risk, and if they come in for the screenings they may find they need to start checking themselves.”
Albert Parker of Paducah said he was diagnosed in 2003 with type-2 diabetes. He controls it with insulin injections. Diabetes forced him to watch the amount of carbohydrates and sugars in his diet. He also exercises more frequently by riding his bicycle. He checks his blood sugar before and after meals.
“The Diabetes Expo brings together a wealth of good information for people with diabetes and their caregivers,” Parker said. “It’s a good chance to learn about new medicines, new types of insulin and new products to help diabetics.”