Health fair will shed light on diabetes | ParkRecord.com

Health fair will shed light on diabetes

The second annual free Diabetes Health Fair, which will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the People’s Health Clinic, will give the public a chance to learn about diabetes from professional clinicians and doctors.

More than 10.4 percent of Utah's adult population have been diagnosed with diabetes, and diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Diabetes Association. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate more than 100 million American adults have been diagnosed with the condition.

Those numbers are staggering, said Beth Armstrong, executive director of the People's Health Clinic.

"This is about as a big an epidemic that ever was, and no one really talks about it," Armstrong said. "Diabetes is known as a silent killer because it can go on for years and years undetected."

This is why her nonprofit is partnering with the American Diabetes Association, Park City Hospital and the Summit County and Wasatch County health departments to present a free diabetes health fair. The event will run from 3-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the People's Health Clinic, 650 Round Valley Drive at Quinn's Junction.

Diabetes is a condition when a person has higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed when a patient's body doesn't produce insulin to counter those levels, and Type 2 describes when a patient produces some, but not enough.

The fair will be set up with stations that will offer testing, diabetes education and tips on healthy eating and physical activity, as well as prize giveaways, Armstrong said.

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The first station will be a diabetes risk test conducted by Summit County Health Department.

"If we detect someone is at risk, we'll refer them to the Wasatch County Health Department table for the (risk test)," Armstrong said.

The blood test, called the A1c, measures blood sugar levels.

From there people will receive a body mass index assessment from the PC MARC. A person's BMI score is measured by dividing their height in inches squared by their weight in pounds squared, with that result multiplied by 703.

The fair will also feature the American Diabetes Association and counselors from the National Alliance on Mental Health Utah.

"Many people who are diagnosed with diabetes do suffer from depression, because the disease changes their lifestyles," Armstrong said. "So we'll have counselors for people who may need counseling."

The last station will be a physical education booth staffed by Park City Hospital's LiVe Well Center, which will offer tips on healthy eating and exercises.

"Now, if people test and are not at risk, they can still go through the fair and learn about diabetes and healthy living," Armstrong said. "If you become a full Type 2 diabetic, you have to work hard, but you can reverse it. But it's better take preventative measures before you become a diabetic."

A major concern about diabetes, especially Type 2, is people usually don't know they have it until they are tested, and the results of not getting tested can be devastating, according to SaRene Brooks, a health educator at the Summit County Health Department.

"You can lose your eyes; your nerves, in your legs and feet," she said. "Diabetes is also the No. 1 cause of kidney failure."

These symptoms can manifest quickly if someone has Type 1 diabetes, said Brooks, whose two children have been diagnosed.

"If you have Type 1, you are almost forced into managing it," she said.

This year marks the second diabetes health fair and the goal hasn't changed from last year.

"We wanted to show people who have diabetes or people who know someone who has diabetes that there are resources out there," Brooks said. "People can come and get referrals and sign up for diabetes prevention classes with Summit County."

What: Diabetes Health Fair

When: 3-6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14

Where: People’s Health Clinic/Summit County Health Department, 650 Round Valley Drive

Cost: Free

Web: peopleshealthclinic.org.