Free monthly health screenings make Texoma healthier place

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DENISON, TX - Finding out you have a disease like diabetes can be life-changing. But a simple test could let you know if you're at risk and even prevent you from developing the disease. That's the idea behind Thursday’s free screenings at TMC.

Dozens of people came by Texoma Medical Center Thursday afternoon for a free diabetes screening and seminar. Stan Simmons was one of them.

"Knowing that I had high blood sugar I just wanted to check it out and see what it was for sure,” said Stan.

Simmons said he was relieved to find his results were good and he wasn’t at risk for pre-diabetes. But three years ago, at a different cardiovascular screening, he received bad news. It turned out he had blockage in his carotid artery.

"Something I had no idea that I had, no symptoms, nothing, it was just that screening that I did. And they said you better check with your doctor and two weeks later I had the operation on my neck,” said Simmons.

His story is just one example of how regular check-ups staying informed on your health are important, and could even save your life.

"A lot of people don't want to go to the doctor unless they feel bad, and high blood pressure and diabetes are the two big diseases that can cause lots of problems without feeling bad and so that's why it's important to get regular check-ups," explained TMC endocrinologist Dr. Bryan Kahl.

So to help educate people on various medical issues, every month TMC hosts free screenings and seminars to inform people about potential health risks. Thursday the focus was on diabetes.

"It's one of the few diseases that the patient really has more control of than the doctors or the medications that we give them so the key is education,” said Dr. Kahl.

All it takes is a quick stick, and then in about 60 seconds they'll have the results of a glucose test and can tell attendees what their blood sugar level is. Dr. Kahl says healthy blood sugar should fluctuate between 80 and 160, being higher if you just ate before the test.

"Anytime that you have a free screening, anybody should take advantage of it, no matter who you are, it just makes for better down the road operations,” said Simmons.

If you missed the free diabetes screening on Thursday, TMC will hold another one March 25th, 2010, from 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. And it will also include additional, more extensive glucose testing for a $5 fee.

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