Diabetes fair set for Friday

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention estimate 25.8 million Americans have diabetes — 8.3 percent of the population. Of these, 7 million do not know they have the disease and the number of people diagnosed with diabetes rose from 1.5 million in 1958 to 18.8 million in 2010, an increase of epidemic proportions.

In an effort to educate and inform people who have diabetes or have a family history of the disease the Ironton Lions Club is sponsoring its annual Diabetes Awareness and Health Fair from 2-4 p.m. Friday in the Mains Rotunda at Ohio University Southern.

“Everything is free,” Laura Brown, Ironton city health commissioner and Lions Club member, said. “We hope people will come out. We have had this event for many years at several locations and one year we had more than 300 people show up, and the next year we had only 60.”

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It is estimated that 79 million adults aged 20 and older have prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Studies have shown that by losing weight and increasing physical activity people can prevent or delay prediabetes from progressing to diabetes.

Free screenings by employees at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital will be available at the fair along with more than a dozen other vendors.

“Not only is everything free it is all intended to educate and inform,” Brown said. “People who are diabetic or think they might be need to know there is help out there for them to make living with diabetes as easy as possible.”

Both the Ironton and Lawrence County health departments will make free diabetic smoothies and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s office will speak about Project Lifesaver. Other vendors at the fair include Genesis Oxygen and Home Medical Equipment, Unger’s Shoes, Tri-State Fitness and Rehab, CareSource, Area Agency on Aging District 7, Air Evac Lifeteam, Juice Plus, Community Hospice, Lawrence County Wellness Initiative, Ohio State Appalachian Translational Research Network, Ohio State University Extension’s Lawrence County Office, chiropractor Dr. Derek Dufore and Dr. William Basedow.

“The goal is for people to take home some knowledge they didn’t have before coming to the fair,” Brown said. “Everyone probably won’t need to visit all 15 vendors but chances are for each person there will be one or two vendors that can help them tremendously.”

Diabetic cookbooks will be given away every 15 minutes and fruit and water will be available at the fair. For more information or to ask questions call Brown at the Ironton City Health Department at 740-532-2172.