Bellevue firefighters and Overlake Hospital doctors and nurses will offer free blood pressure and blood sugar checks at community centers, shopping malls and other locations Feb. 16-23. During "Heart Week," people who work or live in Bellevue can get screenings for high blood pressure or high blood glucose, which are associated with heart disease and diabetes.
Heart Week allows firefighters to help residents avoid or treat illnesses that are leading causes of death in the United States, and gives residents a chance to meet with firefighters in a non-emergency situation.
Residents can consult the Heart Week schedule when it becomes available to see when and where they can conveniently obtain a screening. It will be easy to find the firefighter providing the screening at the city's community centers; signs will be posted at the malls.
The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association offer details about diabetes and heart disease, including how to prevent or treat them. Sobering facts include:
- Without proper treatment, high blood pressure can lead to life-threatening heart disease or kidney failure;
- Without proper treatment, high blood sugar (blood glucose) can lead to heart disease, kidney failure and nerve damage;
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) happens from time to time to everyone who has diabetes, and can be easily treated, in the early stages, by consuming 15-20 grams of sugar/carbohydrates; and
- Untreated hypoglycemia can quickly become an emergency situation, possibly including a trip to the hospital for evaluation.
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