Event promises latest information on diabetes
Isle residents with diabetes and their family members will have an opportunity to talk to experts and learn the newest treatments at a conference Saturday at the Hawai'i Convention Center.
Taking Control of Your Diabetes, a nonprofit San Diego organization founded and directed by Steven Edelman, will host the conference from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with seminars, workshops and diabetes specialists.
"About 90 percent of people (with diabetes) never get to see a specialist or subspecialist" because they are uninsured or their plan does not provide such access, said Dr. Laurie Tom, president of the American Diabetes Association's Hawaii Leadership Council and conference co-director.
Conference participants will be able to talk one-on-one with doctors, pharmacists, exercise specialists, pediatricians, psychologists, dietitians, educators and podiatrists.
Although it is an educational event, "probably it's more motivational and empowering," Tom said. Every year, people who attend "realize hundreds of thousands of people are living with diabetes and facing the same challenges."
Edelman, diagnosed with Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes at age 15, is a leader in diabetes treatment, research and education.
About 23 million Americans have some form of diabetes, and one in three people born in 2000 will be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime, according to the conference organizers.
About 100,000 Hawaii adults have diabetes, and about one-third do not know they have it, said Robert Hirokawa, state Health Department Science and Research Group epidemiologist.
Conference sessions will deal with nutrition, hypoglycemia, raising children with diabetes, insulin therapies, gastric bypass and treatments for the effects on the heart, nervous system, emotional health, feet and musculoskeletal system.
Many new medications are available, and a pharmacist will talk about how to take them properly, Tom said.
About 35 exhibits will feature the latest devices to monitor and treat diabetes.
Among new items in development is a continuous glucose sensor that can communicate with an insulin pump that will set off an alarm telling the wearer when to drink juice or eat a snack.
Former newspaper columnist Eddie Sherman will be the luncheon speaker.
Early registration fees are $35, or $30 each when two or more people register together. On-site registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. and cost $40. Financial aid is available.
A half-day conference will be held Sunday at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel on the Big Island. The registration fee is $15 in advance or $20 on site, including a buffet lunch.
To register, call (800) 998-2693 or (858) 755-5683.