The Center for Diabetes and Nutrition at the Northeast Missouri Health Council will recognize World Diabetes Day in the Center with an open hall focusing on educating patients about their healthcare options and the public about what it means to deal with Type 2 diabetes.
Carrie Snyder, co-ordinator for nutrition and diabetes at the center, said the event would provide an opportunity to connect the community.
"It's an opportunity for public doctors and health care providers to come together in a single place to discuss diabetes," Snyder said.
The event will include several vivid demonstrations of technologies such as insulin pumps, continuous glucose meters, and blood sugar monitoring applications that help patients treat diabetes as well as educational material on diabetes and related conditions such as hypertension and high cholesterol. It will be held in the middle of the conference room at 1506 Crown Drive from 5 to 5 pm.
Snyder said World Diabetes Day is important because it helps raise awareness of this disease; up to half of patients with type 2 diabetes were not diagnosed. Type 2 diabetics do not respond well to insulin and usually appear in the disease; Type 1 diabetics do not produce their own insulin and are usually diagnosed in childhood, although both types may develop later.
Snyder said diabetes is much easier to handle if diagnosed before it can permanently damage it.
Symptoms that need to be monitored as type 2 diabetes include increased starvation and thirst, frequent urination and sudden weight loss.
"It may take several years for patients to have type 2 symptoms, so we will have some paper screenings where people can assess their risk of developing diabetes," Snyder said.
An open house will also provide resources to manage the stress that diabetes can cause to patients and their families, including daily stress monitoring of blood sugar levels and after some severe health regime and interpersonal stress in discussing the condition with others. Other topics include diabetes prevention and nutrition therapy, including programs available for Medicare patients.
Patients who are not insured or under-insured may seek treatment with providers, including NEMHC, who provide services on a rolling basis based on income levels.
Snyder said she was meant to solve the misconceptions that patients might have about diabetes treatment. She said that many patients have a misconception about insulin and mistakenly believe it is risky.
"It's just one of the treatments," Snyder said. "There is nothing wrong with making insulin."
Snyder also wants to help diabetes patients and the general public to understand that type 2 diabetes is not only caused by consuming high amounts of sugar. This is a risk factor, as well as excessive intake of calories and physical inactivity, but age and family history also contribute. Snyder said people can develop type 2 diabetes even though they are healthy, and patients should not face a social stigma.
"People think Type 2 as a lifestyle disease and it is not," said Snyder. "It's a lot of contributing factors."