ROGERSVILLE — Hawkins County has a type 2 diabetes rate of 12.1% according to the County Health Rankings (www.countyhealthrankings.org) provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Identifying and connecting with people at high-risk type 2 diabetes is critical to preventing it. And preventing it is what you want! However, if you already have diabetes, you can improve your health and may even be able to reverse type 2 diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website reports on efforts of both treating and preventing the disease.

Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2015 but this may be underreported. While it is often identified as the cause of blindness, lower-limb amputations and kidney failure, doctors are not able to easily identify diabetes as the cause of heart attacks or strokes. So, while it’s reported that a person died from a stroke, the real cause of death may have the diabetes, which caused the stroke.

The rate of new cases of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is still very high. Estimates are the 24% of persons with diabetes do not know that they have it. Furthermore, more than a third of American adults, around 86 million, have pre-diabetes and 90% of them don’t know it.

Statistics show that millions of people may be at risk and don’t even know it. The risks include being overweight, 45 years old or older, having a family history of type 2 diabetes, and being physically active less than three times a week. People who have even one of these risks should talk to their doctor about being tested for diabetes.

Coming to Hawkins County beginning April 25 is an educational seminar on preventing and reversing diabetes offered as a public service for a healthier Tennessee. The Grundy Reversing Diabetes Seminar was developed by Stephen (MPA, RN) and Karen (RN) Wickham and has been taught in their county and elsewhere for the last five years. They have received multiple awards for their work, most recently the 2015 Rural Health Association of Tennessee’s Merit Award. Individuals who have applied the principles that they teach have experienced significant improvement in their health, many reversing diabetes.

Everyone is welcome to attend this six-week seminar — hosted by the Lighthouse Community Center, at 712 Caney Creek Road, in Rogersville — and featuring the Wickhams. The cost for the seminar is $20.

Meetings will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. from April 25 through May 30. Come early (6 p.m.) for the pre-session which will include having your weight and blood pressure checked, plus free food samples.

To pre-register or for more information, call 423-272-7982 or email rojute2000@yahoo.com.