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diabetes risk assessment

It only takes 60 seconds to assess your risk for diabetes

Diabetes affects nearly 600,000 Kentuckians  that’s one in every eight people living in the state. And many in Kentucky who have the disease don’t even know it.

Over time, diabetes damages nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve problems, gum infections and amputation. The good news is that recognizing possible diabetes symptoms early on can lead to successful diagnosis and treatment. Common early symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst and increased urination.
  • Weight loss and constant hunger.
  • Vision changes.
  • Fatigue.
  • Tingling hands and feet.
  • Red, swollen, tender gums.
  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections.

Take the ADA’s Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you’re one of the nine in 10 Americans at risk for the disease. The test takes only 60 seconds to complete, and knowing your results is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.


Next steps:

UK researcher receives $3.1 million grant to fight health disparities in Appalachia

An initiative from the UK Colleges of Medicine and Public Health to educate people in Eastern Kentucky about cancer prevention has been awarded an additional $3.1 million grant to address the diabetes epidemic.

Since 2004, Nancy Schoenberg, the Marion Pearsall Professor of Behavioral Science at the UK College of Medicine, has been principal investigator of a series of projects in Eastern Kentucky collectively called “Faith Moves Mountains.” The project works to build community support for cervical cancer prevention and a wellness and cancer prevention program and to reduce Appalachian health disparities.

Earlier this fall, Schoenberg and her team of community and university researchers from the UK College of Medicine and the UK College of Public Health were awarded a new five-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to continue the Faith Moves Mountains initiative and implement a project called “Clinic to Community Navigation to Improve Diabetes Outcomes” in Appalachian communities where diabetes is considered an epidemic.

Faith-based community partnerships

Like the previous projects, researchers aim to target specific health behaviors through faith-based interventions by building relationships with churches in Appalachian communities.

“We have worked over the years with about 60 or 70 churches, faith organizations in general, as well as senior centers, community centers, [and] other environments, to really promote the most scientifically rigorous projects,” Schoenberg said.

“All of my research really focuses on bringing in people from the communities melding their community knowledge and our team’s scientific knowledge to figure out the best interventions and programs to promote health and to decrease health disparities.”

For this project, Schoenberg will continue to draw on existing faith organizations and other partnerships. “We’ll reach out to new churches in new counties and new environments to promote the message of diabetes control,” she said.

Education and self-management

Appalachian Kentucky has rates of diabetes about 46 percent higher than the national average. Even more challenging is that about one-third of those who have diabetes are undiagnosed.

During the project, researchers intend to reduce adverse outcomes by educating people with Type 2 diabetes about self-management and training community-based facilitators to help coordinate healthcare services. To determine the most effective intervention components, researchers will assign participants to one of three groups: a diabetes self-management group, a patient navigation group, or a combined self-management and patient navigation group.

The self-management groups will meet in churches or other community-based venues. In addition, patient navigators will assist with educating and facilitating healthcare appointments at community-based health clinics and check-in with patients to make sure they attend medical appointments and receive adequate follow-up care.

“We want to draw on what we know works to help community members get the diabetes self-management that they need,” Schoenberg said. “Our hope is that at the end of the day, they’re able to take control of their health.”


Next steps:

Barnstable Brown

UK celebrates new expansion of Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center

The UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is celebrating a significant milestone in its 10-year history with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new clinic expansion at UK HealthCare at Turfland and recognition of a recent top 50 ranking in U.S. News and World Report for patient care in endocrinology and diabetes.

Since its inception in 2008, the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center has been a leader in diabetes prevention, education, research and comprehensive care. The new clinic space at UK HealthCare at Turfland will allow the center to care for even more patients and includes space for an education center.

The Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center was established by twins Patricia Barnstable Brown and Priscilla Barnstable along with their mother, Wilma. They pledged the initial funding to support the center in memory of Patricia Barnstable Brown’s husband, David, who passed away from complications of diabetes in 2003.

Proceeds from the family’s annual Derby Eve Gala, which attracts celebrities from across the world to the Barnstable Brown family home in Louisville, have benefited research and patient care at the diabetes center at UK. To date, more than $13 million has been donated.

“Thanks to the generosity and vision of the Barnstable Brown family, patients with diabetes in Kentucky are receiving the highest level of patient care and benefiting from innovative research that impacts treatment and understanding of the disease,” UK President Eli Capilouto said.

Treating diabetes in Kentucky

Currently, the center treats more than 7,500 adult patients and 2,500 pediatric patients each year in the management and treatment of diabetes and related diseases.

“The support from the Barnstable Brown Family has enabled us to recruit talented physicians, physician-scientists and specialized staff dedicated to the care of patients and their families,” said Dr. Mark F. Newman, UK executive vice president for health affairs. “Having a center where clinical care, research and education come together for the benefit of patients now and in the future is a tremendous asset and resource for everyone in Kentucky and beyond.”

Overall, it is estimated that more than 600,000 Kentuckians have diabetes and that as many as one in three adults in Kentucky may have pre-diabetes, either diagnosed or undiagnosed.

“As the burden of diabetes in Kentucky continues to grow, the UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is pushing forward to improve diabetes prevention and quality of life and to increase better health outcomes,” said Dr. John Fowlkes, director of the center and a pediatric endocrinologist. “The newly expanded clinic marks a monumental step towards that goal.”

Comprehensive care in one location

The expansion will allow the center to care for more patients of all ages – from infants to seniors – with diabetes and related disorders at one consolidated location. The Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center at Turfland also will house on-site access to pharmacy and supplies, ophthalmology and optometry services, laboratory testing, ultrasound, and radiology.

Services offered include consultation with expert diabetes specialists; coordination of care for diabetes complications; screening and management; and comprehensive patient education plans.

Clinical resources include:

  • 11 physicians and four advanced practice providers at the adult clinic.
  • Five physicians, two advanced practice providers, a certified social worker and nursing resources at the pediatric clinic.
  • Six outpatient clinic-based diabetes educators.
  • Five outpatient diabetes educators.

Impacting lives across Kentucky

“This is a very emotional and heartfelt time for me to witness the recognition of the center as it continues to expand and flourish in helping patients throughout the Kentucky,” Patricia Barnstable Brown said. “The expansion of space and resources means the center can touch even more lives across the Commonwealth and beyond.”

Touching lives is at the heart of what the center is all about.

Lives impacted include those of the Middleton family of Lexington – James (JC) and Lisa, along with their children, Kara and Max. JC and both children have Type 1 diabetes and receive care and diabetes management at the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center.

“Diabetes has touched our entire family,” said JC Middleton. “It’s a different challenge every day, but we are learning to live a full and healthy life with diabetes with the help of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center.”


Next steps:

Barnstable Brown proud to sponsor UK Opera Theatre’s ‘It’s a Grand Night for Singing’

The UK HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is proud to sponsor the 25th anniversary of the UK Opera Theatre’s It’s a Grand Night for Singing, running now through June 19.

This is the first year of sponsorship between the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center and the UK Opera Theatre.

“We look forward to a long and wonderful relationship with the talented physicians and researchers working to find solutions to one of our nation’s most pressing health issues,” said Everett McCorvey, DMA, producer and executive director of the UK Opera Theatre.

About Barnstable Brown

Established in 2008, the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center is a multidisciplinary center designed to conduct research, provide medical management in every area of diabetes and deliver educational support to assist patients and families in implementing lifestyle changes.

Patricia Barnstable-Brown and her twin sister, Priscilla Barnstable, host the annual Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala. The celebrity-packed gala’s financial impact to the diabetes center at UK has been about $13 million over the past 10 years.


Next steps:

The 29th annual Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala will take place Friday, May 5 in Louisville. It has raised over $13 million over the past decade.

Celebrity guests announced for this year’s Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala

The 29th annual Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala will take place Friday, May 5 in Louisville. The gala benefits the UK Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center.

Even if you aren’t able to attend the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala, you can still support the groundbreaking diabetes research at the UK HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center. Donations can be sent to: UK HealthCare Office of Philanthropy, Attn: Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, PO Box 34184, Lexington, KY 40588.

The annual star-studded bash is held at the home of Patricia Barnstable-Brown, who co-hosts the event with her twin sister, Priscilla Barnstable. The event is internationally recognized as the “premier” Kentucky Derby gala and counted among the “Ten Best Parties in the World” by Condé Nast.

This year’s guests will include:

  • Tom Brady
  • Kid Rock
  • Tracy Morgan
  • Katie Couric
  • Larry David
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Sammy Hagar
  • Richie Sambora
  • Harry Connick Jr.
  • Brian McKnight
  • Maren Morris (Grammy-winning country music artist)
  • Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)
  • Kix Brooks (Brooks & Dunn)
  • Justin Hartley (This is Us)
  • Boyz II Men
  • Rickie Fowler (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Brooks Koepka (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Justin Thomas (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Jimmy Walker (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Johnny Gill
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Orianthi
  • Stephen Amell
  • Josh Henderson
  • Travis Tritt
  • Terri Clark
  • Cam (Grammy-nominated country music artist)
  • Clay Walker
  • Giada De Laurentiis
  • Chrishell Stause
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Rickey Medlocke
  • Jordan Smith (The Voice)
  • Taylor Dayne
  • Joey Fatone
  • Bode Miller
  • Mary Wilson
  • Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers)
  • Jay Gruden (NFL head coach)
  • Wes Welker (former All-Pro NFL player)
  • Matt Cassel (Tennessee Titans)
  • Mike Vrabel (Houston Texans)
  • Larry Izzo (Houston Texans)
  • Rob O’Neill (Decorated U.S. Navy Seal)
  • Larry Birkhead
  • Justin Cornwell (Training Day)

Next steps:

The American Diabetes Association of the Bluegrass is asking companies around Lexington to check their risk for Type 2 diabetes by participate in Alert Day.

It only takes 60 seconds to assess your risk for diabetes

Diabetes affects nearly 600,000 Kentuckians  that’s one in every eight people living in the state. And many in Kentucky who have the disease don’t even know it.

Over time, diabetes damages nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve problems, gum infections and amputation. The good news is that recognizing possible diabetes symptoms early on can lead to successful diagnosis and treatment. Common early symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst and increased urination.
  • Weight loss and constant hunger.
  • Vision changes.
  • Fatigue.
  • Tingling hands and feet.
  • Red, swollen, tender gums.
  • Slow-healing sores or frequent infections.

Alert Day

Today is the American Diabetes Association’s Alert Day and a great opportunity to assess your risk for diabetes. Take the ADA’s Diabetes Risk Test to find out if you’re one of the nine in 10 Americans at risk for the disease. The test takes only 60 seconds to complete, and knowing your results is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.


Next steps:

Country artist Ben Rue visited a diabetes education class at the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center

Country music star Ben Rue visits kids at Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center

Kids in the pediatric diabetes education class at the UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center welcomed a special classmate earlier this week.

Country music artist Ben Rue, who was in Lexington for the Acoustic Jam to benefit the UK Kentucky Children’s Hospital, stopped by the diabetes education class to talk with children recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Ben was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 14. He told the kids that living with a chronic illness can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to define their lives.

“Kids with Type 1 diabetes need to know that just because you have this condition doesn’t mean that it holds you back from being or doing whatever you want to do,” he said.

Watch highlights from Ben’s visit below, including an acoustic performance for the kids at Barnstable Brown.


Next steps:

  • Learn more about the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, which provides medical management in every area of diabetes as well as education support to assist in lifestyle changes.
  • Interested in donating to the Kentucky Children’s Hospital? Visit Give to KCH to learn more about ways you support our mission.
JC and Max Middleton.

Family confronts diabetes with help from UK

A natural instinct for a mother is to protect her children by keeping them healthy and safe. But what do you do when your spouse and not just one, but both of your children are diagnosed with a chronic illness like diabetes, all within a relatively short amount of time? That’s the challenge Lisa Middleton, her husband and two young children faced.

With the help of the University of Kentucky’s Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center, the Middletons are confronting diabetes, ready to meet that challenge head-on, all day, every day.

The first diagnosis

James and Lisa Middleton look like the couple next door. Lisa, an energetic and personable young woman, received her doctorate degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and later was a research assistant professor in the College of Medicine. She is currently a lecturer at Eastern Kentucky University.

James “JC” Middleton is an avid long-distance cyclist and a software engineer at Valvoline. It was quite a shock when, 12 years ago at age 29, he was diagnosed with diabetes. JC suddenly dropped 20 pounds from his already slim physique. He was constantly tired, stayed thirsty and drank more than usual. That caused him to use the bathroom more frequently, even throughout the night. Weight loss, excessive thirst and frequent urination are common symptoms of diabetes.

Lisa was puzzled by her husband’s initial diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes sometimes referred to as adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes because he didn’t completely fit the profile. Type 2 diabetes typically occurs in older adults and can be aggravated by unhealthy eating habits, inactivity and obesity. None of these traits describe JC. Following a visit to the endocrinologist, JC’s diagnosis was changed to Type 1, and that day he began insulin therapy.

Lisa describes her husband as “independent and incredibly smart.” He was immediately able to learn carbohydrate counting and quickly did the math to calculate his insulin doses. Although the diagnosis presented a huge change in JC’s life, she said “he just handled it.”

Barnstable Brown supports the family

The Middletons have two children, Kara, a lively and self-confident 7-year-old who loves horses and wants to be a famous singer, and Max, an active and strong-willed 2-year-old who likes to run, jump and climb.

About a year ago, the Middletons noticed something unusual about baby Max. He stopped gaining weight and produced a lot more wet diapers. Late one evening while JC was testing his blood glucose level, he decided to test Max’s glucose level on a whim. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

“It was off the charts; it simply registered high,” JC said.

The next day, Max’s pediatrician strongly suspected that at age 20 months, the Middletons’ youngest child had Type 1 diabetes, and their world seemingly turned upside down.

“It crushes you,” JC said. “We were all but on the floor crying.”

Their pediatrician immediately directed the Middletons to UK’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital where Max was hospitalized. The first night, as Max was sleeping, Lisa took out her smart phone and read everything she could on diabetes, including the latest on clinical trials and advances in research.

Today, Max wears an insulin pump connected to a strap around his waist that delivers constant short-acting insulin through a catheter placed under the skin. The pump offers freedom from multiple injections and can be programmed based on what Max eats throughout the day and his activity level. A continuous glucose monitor, called a Dexcom, is attached to Max’s upper arm. This allows JC and Lisa to continuously monitor his glucose levels every five minutes, 24 hours a day. If his glucose level reads too low or too high, the Dexcom will send an alarm to JC’s and Lisa’s smart phones to warn them, which is especially important throughout the night.

“He handles his diabetes like a rockstar,” Lisa said. “Once you see your 2-year-old handling their diabetes better than you are, you have to get over it and move forward.”

About six weeks ago, while on a family vacation in Lisa’s home state of Michigan, Lisa noticed Kara had wet the bed during the night and thought she had a possible urinary tract infection.

“I think it was always in the back of my mind that diabetes could also happen to Kara, but honestly, I thought we were in the clear with her. We had one child with diabetes, surely we wouldn’t have another,” Lisa said. “My mom had some urine test strips and I tested Kara. Her urine was full of sugar.”

Kara was taken to a hospital in Michigan and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She began treatment that day. The Middletons then contacted UK to consult with Max’s pediatric endocrinology team about Kara’s treatments. The team includes Dr. Alba Morales, associate professor of pediatric endocrinology and Barnstable Brown faculty member and diabetes educator Angela Hepner.

“They were incredibly helpful, supportive and confirmed treatments,” Lisa said. “As soon as we returned home to Kentucky, Kara was seen at Barnstable Brown immediately.”

Kara is currently taking four to six shots every day and checking her blood sugar by herself six to 10 times per day. She also will be starting on an insulin pump and Dexcom next week thanks to the quick work of the staff and doctors at Barnstable Brown.

Dealing with diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, there is a 3-5 percent chance siblings will develop diabetes. Hepner said UK is seeing more sibling sets with diabetes as well as several families where one parent has Type 1.

“Our team is committed to making families like the Middletons have as positive an experience with diabetes as possible,” Hepner said. “For our younger children, we focus our educational efforts toward the parents, and also emphasize to the kids that diabetes should never stop them from doing what they love.”

Morales says it is a huge challenge to manage children with diabetes because they are changing and growing on a daily basis and their management has to evolve with them.

“The mother has been wonderful in the way she manages her children’s diabetes on a daily basis. It is more difficult than anyone can imagine,” Morales said. “She is really good at keeping us informed here so that we can all work as a team.”

While the Middletons say they are fortunate because both their children were diagnosed early before they got extremely sick, their biggest challenge is managing their worry.

“Like all parents, we want the best for our children and want them to lead as normal a life as possible, and a diagnosis of diabetes is just a detour in the road,” JC said. “I try not to blame myself for my kids’ diabetes because in all likelihood, I passed it on to them. There are so many potential things that may cause diabetes, you can’t blame it all on genetics.”

Morales says that the reason there is no cure for diabetes yet is because the disease’s causes are still unknown.

“It’s a combination of factors and genetics is only one. We believe there are undiscovered environmental factors as well,” she said. “Diabetes is impossible to predict in children, even if both parents have diabetes.”

Lisa said JC knows the seriousness of the disease and is involved in every aspect of their children’s care, but as the mother and the only non-diabetic in the family, she worries about them all.

“I worry whose blood sugar is up and whose is down. I have to keep track of checking glucose levels and who ate what and when, and if they got their insulin. Now that Kara is in the mix, it’s even more worrisome. I have to work every day to keep my family alive,” she said. “Worrying can consume all of the energy I have that I could be putting somewhere else; so I have to push nervousness to the back of my mind and focus.

“Diabetes is an invisible disease. My kids are not obviously diabetic. They are normal and active. We can easily hide the monitors and pumps with clothes but the seriousness of the disease is always present.”

JC adds, “there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can live a normal healthy life with diabetes. Hopefully our children will see a cure for Type 1 diabetes in their lifetime.”

Dr. John Fowlkes, director of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center, said the clinical team is about much more than just seeing patients and prescribing treatment.

“Diabetes doesn’t just impact the individual, it can potentially impact the entire family whether there is one diabetic or several,” he said. “We strive to educate our patients on how to live a full and healthy life with diabetes, and serve as a medical home that addresses all their needs.”

Gluten intolerance requires a significant change in your diet, but doing research and asking questions can help you stay gluten-free while dining out.

11 diabetes-friendly cooking tips

November is American Diabetes Month and a great time to learn more about the disease that affects more than 500,000 Kentuckians.

If you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, a healthy diet is crucial in properly managing your symptoms. Eating well can help you stay at a desirable weight, control your blood pressure, and prevent heart disease and stroke.

Here are 11 cooking tips for healthy diabetes management:

  1. Use nonstick cooking spray instead of oil, shortening, or butter.
  2. If you do use oil, use olive, corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, vegetable or flaxseed oil.
  3. Season foods, like meats and steamed vegetables with herbs and spices (like pepper, cinnamon, and oregano), vinegar, lemon juice or salsa instead of salt, butter or sugary sauces.
  4. Use low- or no-sugar jams instead of butter or margarine on breads.
  5. Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to get at least two servings a week of omega-3 rich foods, like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, rainbow trout and albacore tuna. Walnuts, flaxseed and soy products are other omega-3 rich foods that can be added to a healthy diet.
  6. Eat whole-grain, high-fiber cereals or oatmeal with skim or 1-percent milk.
  7. Use low-fat or fat-free dairy products like milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream in place of full-fat versions.
  8. Drink 100 percent fruit juice that has no added sugar and limit your serving size.
  9. Trim excess fat off meats and eat chicken or turkey without the skin.
  10. Always buy lean cuts of meat and choose a healthy cooking method, like broiling, roasting, stir-frying or grilling.
  11. Buy whole-grain breads and cereals instead of processed, refined grains like white flour.

We’ve also compiled a list of 41 diabetes-friendly recipes. Check it out!

Support the American Diabetes Association

UK HealthCare Chief Administrative Officer Ann Smith and 10 other Lexington-area community members are campaigning to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association’s Kiss a Pig event.

Discovered in 1921, insulin was originally derived from the pancreas of pigs and is a vital tool in the treatment and care of people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association honors the pig for saving millions of lives.

The fundraising candidate who raises the most money has the honor of kissing Dolly, a 5-week-old piglet, at the Kiss a Pig Gala.

Every dollar raised helps the ADA provide diabetes advocacy, education programs, research and outreach support for the people of Kentucky. To donate to Ann’s campaign, visit www.diabetes.org/kissapigann.