Lions Club highlights Diabetes Month

Fort Madison Lions Club members Ruth McKoon, DeEtta Rasmussen and Maxine Herring highlight Diabetic Awareness Month at Hy-Vee Friday afternoon. (Angie Holland/The Daily Democrat)

For the third year, members of the Fort Madison Lions Club gathered at Hy-Vee Friday afternoon to inform, educate and communicate about diabetes.

November is Diabetes Awareness month, Lion DeEtta Rasmussen said.

鈥淲e just wanted to do something to make people more aware,鈥 she said. 鈥淭here are so many people that are on the verge of having it, they call it pre-diabetes, and a lot of people are not treated and should be.鈥

Lion Ruth McKoon pointed out a lot of people have diabetes and don鈥檛 know that they have it.

Lions Club International is more than 100 years old now, and the service organization has a variety of causes 鈥 including diabetes, and is also a champion for aiding those who are vision and hearing impaired. Helping children in need is an important cause for the group as well.

Rasmussen said the group does a lot of eye testing for kids.

There was a wide variety of educational and informative materials, a free diabetic wristband, water bottle stickers, and people had a chance to register for a free diabetic cookbook.

Warning signs of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, increased hunger, weight loss, tiredness, blurred vision, frequent infections, slow-healing wounds, vomiting and stomach pain, lack of interest and concentration, and a tingling sensation or numbness in hands or feet.

Complications can include eye disease, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, a risk for amputation and pregnancy complications.

There are ways to slow or prevent the onset of diabetes through a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, increased physical activity, and maintenance of a healthy weight.