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DOH-Hillsborough Hosts Diabetes Awareness Day Event

By Ryan L. Terry, Public Information Officer

November 11, 2022

TAMPA, FLA – Diabetes Awareness Day is an annual reminder that 88-million Americans have prediabetes. The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County is hosting a diabetes awareness event for the public on Monday, November 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on World Diabetes Day. The event will be held at the University Area Health Center located at 13601 N. 22nd Street, Tampa, FL 33613. This event is designed to be a one-stop shop for all things diabetes-related.

For anyone with a family history of diabetes, there will be free screenings to check your risk for diabetes and to receive information on how you can lower your risk for developing type II diabetes in the future. Those already diagnosed with diabetes will be able to get a FREE A1c test, receive information on diabetes management and connect with diabetes-related services.

There will be FREE A1c testing, FREE blood pressure screenings, FREE cholesterol screenings, and CVS will be on hand to provide vaccinations for seasonal flu, COVID, shingles, and hepatitis. There will be giveaway, prizes, and fun for everyone!

It’s estimated that over 2.4 million Floridians have diabetes and over 5.8 million have prediabetes. Diabetes affects how your body turns food into energy, and is the seventh leading cause of death in Florida. Family history is a huge impact on an individual’s risk for developing diabetes later in life.

There are three main types of diabetes: Type I, Type II, and gestational. Type I diabetes is when your body doesn’t make insulin (hypoglycemia), so you must take insulin every day. Type II is the most common type where your body makes insulin, but the insulin can’t do its job (hyperglycemia), so glucose (sugar) is not getting into the cells; furthermore, Type II is often acquired through poor diet and lack of physical activity. Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy in women who don't already have diabetes.

Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing Type II diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke. People with prediabetes are more likely to develop Type II diabetes than people with normal blood glucose (blood sugar) levels.

Once diagnosed, it’s vital that individuals check their A1c at least once a year (sometimes more as recommended by a medical professional), check their blood pressure and cholesterol, stay up to date on vaccinations to eliminate any diabetes-related complications, check feet regularly, and see a provider for a vision/retina screening at least once a year. Early treatment for diabetes can prevent serious problems such as vision loss or kidney damage.

A blood test is the first step towards diabetes prevention. Finding out that you have prediabetes is your chance to prevent Type II diabetes. If you’re overweight and have prediabetes, losing a small amount of weight and adding physical activity to your life can lower your risk for Type II diabetes.

Our diabetes prevention program offers participants the opportunity to develop a focus on healthy eating and physical activity. By following a lifestyle change program, you can lower your risk of developing Type II diabetes.

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DOH-Hillsborough works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @DOHHillsborough and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.