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Two luncheons provide insight into medical concerns

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NORTH CHANNEL – Diabetes, and Aging. Two medical concerns for all of us.

The North Channel Chamber had two outstanding authorities on these subjects, at their last two monthly luncheons.

On March 7, Dr. Maria Mejia, spoke on her work in Diabetes, and how we must all be aware of the dangers of the disease.

She said that diabetes can be caused by bad diet, lifestyle, stress, and lack of exercise.

“We are what we DO, we are what we EAT.”

The disease is hard to control, and it is necessary to change you lifestyle habits. Now over 25 million in the U.S. are affected by the disease, she said.

There are two basic types, and they have to do with how insuline, or blood sugar, interacts with the body. Insuline is necessary to release energy for living, she said. But in Type I diabetes, the Pancreas does not produce insuline. In Type II, the insuline does not interact properly with the body, destroying the pancreas’ productivity.

Symptoms of Diabetes are thirst, eating excessively, and urinating frequently. Diabetes can lead to heart disease, hypertension, kidney failure, eye disease, affect the nervous system, and require amputation of limbs.

Diabetes can be treated with diet, exercise (which releases endorfins), and oral and injected medicines.

Dr. Mejia was raised in Venezuela, studied medicine there, and completed her specialty in Family Medicine at UTMB in Galveston. She now practices in North Shore.

Dr. James Semones spoke to the Chamber at their luncheon on April 4, on the topic of Aging in America.

He said that Aging is the most important issue facing the U.S. In 1900, the lifespan was to the age of 47. Today, a lilfespan will be 80 on average.

The population faces a “retirement crisis,” finding itself in need of retirement income or face poverty, and perhaps too frail to work but too poor to retire.

In the U.S. we save 4% of our household income. This places us 21st in rank in the world. China saves the most, 38%. Semones says it is essential that we save for retirement, and based on statistics, this should be for a 19 year lifespan.

Dr. Semones, a professor of Sociology at San Jacinto College North, has partnered with Dr. Greg Getz of UH Downtown for 3 years to present a Symposium on Aging, to foster awareness and education in this field.

On goal of the Symposium is to recruit more scholars in the field of aging, and to show them how it leads to many other related careers.

Most of all, he works to avoid what he terms “The Silver Tsunami.”