Suffolk YMCA tackles epidemic on World Diabetes Day

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SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Monday is World Diabetes Awareness Day. Many of you reading this may have diabetes or pre-diabetes and don’t even know it.

Eastern Virginia Medical School says Hampton Roads has some of the state’s highest incidences of diabetes.

Regena Herndon at the Suffolk YMCA and about a dozen others waited in line Monday for a blood test that can tell if they have or are at risk for diabetes.

“You can lose your life not taking care of yourself,” Herndon said.

EVMS reports Western Tidewater leads Virginia in diabetes-related deaths.

Phyllis Moore of Suffolk told WAVY.com, “Both my parents in their older age developed diabetes Type 2.”

Moore remembers her dad would just skip his blood sugar tests after eating a big meal.

“He thought he was fooling the doctor, but he really wasn’t fooling anybody but himself.”

Moore is not going to be anybody’s fool. There’s no hiding with the A1C blood test. It reveals your average blood sugar over three months.

The YMCA of South Hampton Roads recently partnered with the CDC to tackle the Tidewater’s diabetes problem.

“We help them create a new lifestyle,” Anna Guibas told 10 On Your Side.

Diet and exercise changes can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent.

The way to stay healthy is to get your annual wellness check and watch for these early diabetes symptoms: increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and blurred vision.