BlountMemorialHospitalIf you have diabetes, think you may have diabetes, or are at high risk of developing this disease, make plans now to attend the free Diabetes Services Fair in the Blount Memorial Hospital auditorium on Monday, Nov. 5, 6-7:30 p.m.

The fair is being held in conjunction with American Diabetes Month, an initiative of the American Diabetes Association. The association offers some sobering statistics about the disease:

  • 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3 percent of the population—have diabetes, including 7 million who don’t know it;
  • 1.6 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year; and
  • 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes.

You are at an increased risk of developing diabetes if:

  • You are obese, with an even greater risk if you are morbidly obese;
    • You have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes;
    • You are African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander;
    • You have had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds;
    • You have high blood pressure;
    • You have low HDL (good cholesterol); or
    • You have high triglycerides.

As we’ve discussed on this blog, the good news is that bariatric surgery offers new hope for those suffering from Type 2 diabetes, a potentially devastating and deadly disease. In fact, a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that 86.6 percent of patients improved or resolved their Type 2 diabetes following bariatric surgery; a study in the Annals of Surgery showed that 83 percent of 240 people who underwent gastric bypass were cured of their diabetes; and two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine found that bariatric surgery reduces the long-term mortality associated with obesity.

For more information about diabetes, we encourage you to attend the Diabetes Services Fair. This community event includes representatives from hospital departments, physician offices, community agencies and pharmaceutical companies. The event is free, but participants are asked to bring a canned or non-perishable food item to donate to the Community Food Connection. Reservations are required. Make your reservation by Thursday, Nov. 1, by calling 865-977-5767.

If you are morbidly obese and would like to know more about bariatric surgery, sign up for a free seminar on weight loss surgery options to see if surgery is the right solution for you.

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