Hospital to offer free blood sugar tests and massages at Waukon Corn Days August 4

Veterans Memorial Hospital will be offering free Blood Sugar Testing with immediate results at the Waukon Corn Days celebration Thursday, August 4. The tests will be performed by Angie Mettille, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator, from 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Free chair massages will also be offered by Shannon Bernatz, Licensed Massage Therapist, who is a full-time massage therapist at the hospital.

Veterans Memorial Hospital staff will also have goodies bags with educational material available. First Aid supplies will also be available for anyone in need.

The Importance of Diabetes Screenings
Since the national guidelines continue to change, lowering the blood sugar’s normal range, Veterans Memorial Hospital feels it is very important to reach out to the community to continue to offer these screenings to try to catch anyone with a borderline or high blood sugar as early as possible. The symptoms of diabetes include a lack of energy, increased hunger, frequent urination and excessive thirst, blurred vision, loss of feelings in hands and toes, frequent, slow-healing infections and weight loss. It is being suggested that adults age 45 and older be tested for diabetes and if the blood sugar is normal at the first test, they should be tested at three-year intervals. People under age 45 should be tested yearly if they are at high risk for diabetes. Risk factors include:
• Being more than 20 percent above ideal body weight.
• Having a first-degree relative with diabetes (mother, father or sibling.)
• Being a member of a high-risk ethnic group (African American, Hispanic, Asian or Native American.)
• Delivering a baby weighing more than nine pounds or having diabetes during a pregnancy.
• Having blood pressure at or above 140/90.
• Having abnormal blood fat levels, such as high-density lipoproteins (HDL) less than or equal to 35 mg/dl or triglycerides greater than or equal to 250 mg/dl.
• Having impaired glucose tolerance when previously tested for diabetes.

Diabetes is found through a simple finger poke blood sugar screening. Everyone who does register a higher than normal blood sugar will have their results sent by the hospital to their local family practice physician or physician assistant for follow-up.

Diabetes can lead to serious and often life-threatening complications. The common areas of the body that are affected include the eyes, kidneys, nerves and the blood vessels. The eyes can suffer such complications as blurred vision, cataracts, damage to the retina, and blindness. The nerves may experience numbness/tingling sensations especially in the legs, hands and feet, diarrhea or constipation, sexual difficulties and loss of bladder control. Blood vessels experience a build up of cholesterol in the arteries, causing possible heart attacks or stroke, blocked veins in the legs, foot ulcers and eventually amputations.

Each test takes just a couple minutes to complete and they do not require any fasting. For more information on diabetes, call Angie Mettille, RN, Diabetes Educator, at Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411.