Fighting a killer: Cherokee recognizes American Diabetes Month

by Oct 31, 2011Front Page, NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments




                November is American Diabetes Month and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is asking individuals to get involved to learn more about prevention of the deadly disease that currently affects 26 million Americans. 

                According to ADA, diabetes kills more people annually than AIDS and breast cancer combined.  “Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes,” information on the ADA website states.  “Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes.” 

                Sheena Kanott, MPH, Cherokee Choices program director, noted, “Cherokee men and women are three times as likely to have Type II Diabetes compared to those of other racial and ethnic groups. Cherokee Choices works to help prevent Type II Diabetes by providing education, mentoring, and social support to help increase physical activity and promote well being and healthy choices, which can reduce the risk for obesity and diabetes.”

                The Cherokee Diabetes Program is sponsoring several walks in honor of the month.  A walk will be held in Cherokee on Monday, Nov. 10, in Cherokee County on Tuesday, Nov. 15 and in the Snowbird Community on Wednesday, Nov. 16.  All of the walks are scheduled to start at 10am. 

                “The Cherokee Diabetes Program, WCTP, and HHI are focused on assisting community members with diabetes live more productive lives,” said Sally Sneed Penick, RN, Cherokee Diabetes Program manager.  “We promote healthy eating and activity as the best medicine in preventing diabetes and complications from diabetes.  Diabetes is a disease that requires self-management with oversight and assistance from medical providers and diabetes educators.  Early treatment is always the best treatment with diabetes.  Life is Sacred, Choose to be Healthy.”

                According to the Cherokee Diabetes Program website, some common signs or symptoms of diabetes include:  being tired all the time, always thirsty, need to urinate often, blurry vision, always hungry, sudden weight loss, sexual problems, wounds that won’t heal, vaginal infections and numb or tingling hands or feet. 

                For more information on diabetes, contact the Cherokee Diabetes Program 497-1995, Cherokee Choices 497-1970, or the American Diabetes Association 1-800-DIABETES or visit