The Knox County Health Department’s next Diabetes Management Series takes place Thursdays, Jan. 9, 16 and 23, from 1-2 p.m. at KCHD, 140 Dameron Ave. The organization offers the free, three-part series quarterly to help those affected by the disease.
“In this unique class, we go beyond diet, medications and exercise to teach participants the science of diabetes, so they can easily recognize what affects their blood sugar levels,” said Shanthi Appelo, KCHD nutritionist and registered dietitian.
Those with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes are encouraged to attend. Spouses and friends of those affected are also encouraged to attend as a strong support system is important in managing the disease. Parking is free. Those interested should call 865-215-5170 or visit this link to register.
Having diabetes is a risk factor for developing serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower-extremity amputations. In 2018, 11.2 percent of Knox County adults (18 and older) reported being diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and the eighth leading cause of death in Knox County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if current trends continue, as many as one out of three U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050.
Due to the prevalence of this disease, KCHD also provides several prevention programs aimed at reducing diabetes rates, including the Nutrition Education Activity Training after-school program, worksite wellness initiatives, breastfeeding promotion and advocacy, community engagement programs, and others.
Kelsey Leyrer is division director of communications for the Knox County Health Department.