Diabetes screening saves lives - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Diabetes screening saves lives

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March 22, 2004

Albany - You could be living with a potentially deadly disease and not even know it. 16,000,000 Americans have diabetes, but 5,000,000 of them don't know it.

Principal Johnny Scott patrols the halls at Southside Middle School. "Kids never know where I'm going to pop up," said Scott. He's in charge of 600 students.

"It's somewhat stressful, but you have to put your priorities in order." One of his top priorities is staying healthy. He's had diabetes for 8 years. "I'm not a typical diabetic. I'm not overweight, and I'm in good shape. But, it was hereditary with me," said Scott.

Scott changed his lifestyle. Now he eats healthier and exercises. "I do a lot of walking. The halls are very long here at the school, and I do a lot of walking here and at home."

Registered Nurse Angie Laramore is seeing the number of people with diabetes increase. "Diabetes has many complications. It effects your eyes, kidneys, heart, feet, and all your major organs," said Laramore.

These are some of the symptoms of the disease:

Frequent Urination
Excessive Thirst and Hunger
Weight Loss
Fatigue
Blurred vision.

Some people are more at risk of diabetes than others. "If you had a baby weighing nine pounds or more, you should be test. If you have a brother or sister with diabetes, you should certainly be tested," said Laramore, RN.

Principal Scott's blood sugar level hit 350 eight years ago but through diet, exercise, and an oral medication, he's back in the safe range and ready to take on his students.

Tuesday, Phoebe Putney is holding a free diabetes screening at the hospital from 9:00AM until 4:00PM.

Posted at 5:08PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com