The JeffCo Juice

Get the inside scoop on what's happening at Jefferson County!  Read up on government happenings, Q&A's, and website features.

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Mar 25

March: Happy Health Update!

Posted on March 25, 2011 at 2:25 PM by Kristen Jordan

Heart Disease claimed February, Breast Cancer Awareness took October, so what's March?

We've got THREE health awareness subjects for you!

From the Jefferson County Health Department:

The JCHD offers monthly health screenings to the community and features different health information every month.  March is Diabetes Month.  (PS- get your blood sugar checked for FREE at the JCHD clinic!  Tuesdays & Fridays: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm)

According to the CDC, in 2008, Kansas reported over 150,000 people within the state were diagnosed as having a type of diabetes.  In addition, it was estimated that 65,000 people living within the state had diabetes but were unaware that they were living with the disease and were not receiving treatment. In 2007, reports from KDHE showed that over 8% of Jefferson County residents have been diagnosed with diabetes. 

When testing for diabetes, an overnight fasting blood sugar reading of less than 100 is considered a normal result for screening purposes.   Pre-diabetes is defined by a fasting blood sugar of 100-125.  A fasting blood sugar of greater than 125 is indicative of diabetes.  One of the largest modifiable risk factors pertaining to diabetes is being overweight or obese.  Studies have shown that people whose fasting blood sugar falls within the range of pre-diabetes, who are able to lose 7% of their body weight (for a 200 pound person 10-14 pounds), by regulating their diet and adding a moderate exercise program into their routine, that almost 60% of those in the programs were able to change their body metabolically and prevent the disease.

Living with uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes can have a number of health effects on an individual. According to KDHE, diabetes is one of the largest contributors in Kansas to disability and death.  Many organ systems are irreversibly damaged when diabetes goes uncontrolled.  Those organ systems include kidney failure, heart disease, eye problems or visual loss, problems with lower extremities, amputations, and problems within the nervous system. 

Signs of diabetes or elevated blood glucose are; increased thirst and urination, weakness, stomach pains, general aches, heavy, labored breathing, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.  Knowing the signs and symptoms of diabetes and when to seek medical care are important ways to intervene and take care of yourself and loved ones. Managing your diabetes once diagnosed is crucial to your health and overall well- being. 

If you have concerns regarding your diabetes or your health, contact your primary care physician for medical advice.  Blood sugar checks are available during walk-in clinics at the Jefferson County Health Department on each Tuesday and Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.   For more information about diabetes or the Jefferson County Diabetes Coalition, please contact Crystal VanHoutan RN with the Jefferson County Health Department at 785-863-2447.

From Pennsylvania State University:

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. Traumatic brain injuries are disruptions or changes in the way the brain functions that occur due to a blow or jolt to the head or penetrating injuries. The severity can range from mild to severe. Brain injuries are the most common cause of death and lifelong disability for children. According to data from the Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, the brain injuries that top the list are from sports, bike crashes, falls, or motor vehicle crashes.

From the National Kidney Foundation:

March is National Kidney Month.  More than 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease and most don’t know it. Since kidney disease is often silent without any symptoms, it can sneak up on people, especially those who are not aware of the major risk factors. Anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of these conditions or kidney disease is at risk and should get his or her kidneys checked.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health problem. In the US alone, 26 million adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk for developing it. Most people are unaware that they have CKD or may be at risk.  For more information, please see the National Kidney Foundation site.