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Diabetes program to be held Thursday

It is estimated that 16 to 17 million people have diabetes in the United States, which is approximately 6.2 percent of the population. While an estimated 11 million of these individuals have been diagnosed, unfortunately almost one third are unaware that they have the disease.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. Since diabetes is a chronic disease that can be managed but not cured, information and knowledge about the disease is critical for those individuals who have or are at risk for the disease.

The Hood River County Extension Service County Council is sponsoring an educational program called, "What's New in Diabetes." The program will be held on Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. at the Hood River Adult Center.

It is open to the public and offered free of charge. For additional information you can contact the Hood River County Extension Office at 386-3343.

Two diabetes educators from Providence/Hood River Memorial Hospital, Jennifer Price the Diabetes Nurse Educator and Kelly Chambers the Diabetes Educator will team together to teach this interactive educational program.

Price, who is a registered nurse, will lead off the program with information on the signs and symptoms of diabetes, followed by a discussion of treatment options and the Cardiac connection. She will also bring the audience up to date on the field of diabetes by looking at what new in working with diabetes and how to avoid complications.

Chambers is a dietitian, so her focus will be in the diet area. Her section will start with an overview of how nutrition relates to diabetes and include information on the basics of carbohydrate counting. Included in her discussion is the importance of food portions and spacing of meals. Kelly will also include what is new to know about diets for diabetics.

Through out both talks, Price and Chambers will have examples of new items designed for the diabetic and visuals to help make the presentation interactive and fun. The Hood River Extension County Council will also have a healthy snack and drinks available.

The educational program, "What's New in Diabetes?" is for the public and is offered free of charge. No pre-registration is required, however, if you plan to have lunch at the meal site before the program you are ask to call the Hood River Adult Center and make lunch reservations.

"What's New in Diabetes" will provide current and accurate information about diabetes in an informal setting. It is designed for those who would like to learn more about the disease because they are a diabetic, have someone in their family that is a diabetic or are considered at risk because they have different risk factors associated with diabetes. The goal of the Hood River County Extension County Council, Providence/Hood River Memorial Hospital and the Hood River Adult Center, who are all co-sponsors of the program, is to provide educational information about a disease that is the fourth leading cause of death by disease in America.

When people know what their risk is for developing diabetes, they might be able to take preventive action. So what are the risk factors for those who are most at risk of diabetes? With Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes risk factors include people who have a family history of diabetes, over weight, have abnormal blood fats (cholesterol or triglycerides), have high blood pressure, have a history of diabetes during pregnancy or have given birth to a baby over nine pounds, and have generally an inactive life style.

With Type 1 diabetes, scientists know there are important genetic factors. Also environmental factors such a viral infections, chemicals, stressful situations and other may also play a role, but the specific roles of each of these factors are not clear.

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