Get a free glucose screening in Ammon on World Diabetes Awareness Day
AMMON — As a 10-year-old experiencing weight loss and pale skin, David Batt figured he was just sick or feeling under the weather.
Otherwise, he seemed normal and healthy.
“I was eating like five meals a day,” Batt says. “Which at the time my parents thought … I was growing, it’s normal.”
But his parents also noticed that despite the excessive eating, the weight gain never accompanied it.
They talked to doctors, and while they initially had trouble finding a diagnosis, eventually a blood sugar test revealed Batt’s problem. Batt’s blood sugar levels were skyrocketing — he had Type 1 Diabetes, a genetic autoimmune disease that affects insulin production.
“My blood sugar was so high that they wanted to admit me to the hospital to get my blood sugars under control so that I didn’t have any damage done internally,” Batt said.
Now, 25 years later, Batt has learned to live with the disease. His two oldest children Emmitt, 7, and Bailey, 6, have also been diagnosed with Type 1. As a result, Batt’s family considers themselves advocates for the disease and are encouraging other families to participate in a free glucose screening.
The screening will be hosted by Rocky Mountain Diabetes Center at the Ammon Broulim’s from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday. The date coincides with World Diabetes Awareness Day.
“Being aware is a big part of the battle,” Batt says. “I just think it’s important for people to understand what diabetes is.”
“They can take advantage of the event if they’re curious to see what it’s like to do blood checks and to learn more about diabetes. It’s been around for a long time, but I don’t know that it’s really been focused on as much as it should be,” Batt says.
Medical professionals for the Idaho Falls Express Lab will be conducting the blood glucose testing and providing results. Rocky Mountain’s diabetes educators will be there to interpret numbers and suggest a visit to a physician if needed. No diagnoses will be made.
Rocky Mountain’s pediatric endocrinologist, Joshua Smith, says this is the second year they’ve done an event like this.
“Anybody can get their blood sugar checked,” Smith says. “It’s mainly just bringing awareness about diabetes: that it’s a big problem, and it often goes undiagnosed until people have complications.”
Research coordinators from Rocky Mountain Diabetes Center will be in attendance to share information about new research and to answer questions. Representatives from TrialNeta, the international network of the world’s leading Type 1 diabetes researchers, will also be at the event to provide free risk screenings for patients whose family members have Type 1 diabetes. The screenings show if a person is in the early stages of Type 1.
Smith says about 10 percent of the population has a form of diabetes, either Type 1 (genetic) or Type 2, and about 25 percent of those people aren’t aware they have it. Click here to learn about the difference between the two types of diabetes.
“You’re not going to be able to treat anything that you don’t know about, so we need to catch more people and treat them,” Smith says.
To learn more about the free glucose screening the Rocky Mountain Diabetes Center’s website.