(WKBN) — November is Diabetes Awareness Month and local educators said it’s important to understand what diabetes is and how to take care of and treat it year-round.
It’s a blood test diagnosis. Experts said anyone over 40 should get screened. Avoiding a diagnosis could lead to long-term complications including nerve and blood-vessel damage.
Local educators said diabetes is a big problem in the Valley.
“Our community, the Mahoning Valley we have very high diabetes rates. We’re running around 11%. If you’re in 9.5%, you’re considered the diabetes belt so in our community, we have a lot of diabetes,” said Trumbull Regional Medical Center Diabetes Coordinator and R.N. Linda Tominey.
A healthy lifestyle can help get diabetes under control.
“We can often intervene before they get there so they don’t progress to type 2 diabetes. We can make lifestyle changes, dietary changes. We can add medication, assist with weight loss,” said diabetes educator Dr. Rachel Cullison.