Local doctor bring awareness to diabetes for awareness month


GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — November is National Diabetes Awareness month. Local doctors are reminding people to get checked for the disease before it becomes too serious, no matter if a person looks perfectly healthy. 

Dr. Patricia Hughes, a bariatric surgeon at Rochester Regional Health, talked to News 8 about the importance of getting checked for the disease.  She said there are a lot of preconceptions about who may have diabetes. 

“If people just looked at him and judged a book by its cover, they would say oh why do you need bariatric surgery, oh I’m sure you’re totally healthy,” said Dr. Hughes. “You don’t have diabetes, you don’t look like that. Because he was young and fit, but on paper he was really sick and that’s really scary.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, every year an estimated 129,000 in New York are diagnosed with it. Approximately 1,634,000 people in New York, or 10.5% of the adult population, have diagnosed diabetes.  An additional 456,000 people in New York have diabetes but don’t know it, greatly increasing their health risk.

Common symptoms of diabetes: ( American Diabetes Association) 

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry—even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss—even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

The disease is often treated with insulin and other medications. But Dr. Hughes says for a better outcome, surgery can be an option.

“There’s a sleeve, which is a banana surgery. A gastric bypass surgery, which I think is kind of like a puzzle in your belly. I don’t take anything out I just rearrange the pieces, and that can help a lot with controlling your diabetes and resolution. Then also the duodenal switch, which is a hybrid of both procedures,”said Dr. Hughes. 

Dr. Hughes says there can be serious health complications if the disease isn’t treated. Some of it could include heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness and death.

Medical experts said a healthy diet after surgery can help keep the diabetes away. 

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