Sioux Valley Vermillion to offer diabetes screenings

Sioux Valley Vermillion to offer diabetes screenings There are a possible 40,000 people living in South Dakota who have diabetes. A third of this population most likely do not know that they have the disease.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in South Dakota. It can be debilitating and life threatening, causing complications such as blindness, kidney failure, and heart disease.

Yet for many people, the disease develops slowly, often without any symptoms. It can take its devastating toll without the knowledge of the person until irreversible damage is done.

Early detection and treatment can prevent the complications of diabetes from developing.

The best way for people to know if there is a possibility they have diabetes is to take a simple blood glucose screening test.

The South Dakota Department of Health, with the encouragement of Gov. William Janklow, is promoting blood glucose diabetes screening to adults this spring. Sioux Valley Vermillion Campus is participating in this screening initiative by offering free screenings in a variety of locations.

Free finger-stick blood glucose tests were available at the Farm Show, and screenings are planned on Feb. 9 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the USD Coyote women's and men's basketball games in the DakotaDome.

March 27 is "Diabetes Alert Day," with screenings available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Vermillion Hy-Vee Food Store. Screenings will be done on April 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center.

In addition to these special screening events, Sioux Valley Vermillion Clinic is providing free blood glucose screening during the entire month of February, Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and on Saturdays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The purpose of the blood glucose screening is to identify people who do not know they have diabetes and to help them seek treatment. Individuals who have an elevated glucose level may have diabetes. They will be referred to their physician for further diagnosis and treatment.

Those interested in further information about the blood glucose screening should contact Diabetes Education Program Coordinator Marsha Thompson, RN, CDE at Sioux Valley Vermillion Campus, 624-2611.

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