NACOGDOCHES — Little things make a big difference in a family’s health, and a new forum will teach East Texas women what some of them are.
“There’s so much women can do to save their own lives and their family’s lives,” said Nelwyn Hawkins, coordinator of an upcoming Women’s Health Forum, “Smart Talk for Smart Women.”
Designed for East Texas women and set Sept. 6 at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, the forum will cover a wide range of women’s health issues.
The idea behind the forum is that by adopting a few, easy preventive measures, women may avert or avoid many catastrophic illnesses, Hawkins said.
Forum topics will include information on Alzheimer’s disease, cancer prevention, osteoporosis, managed health care, stress management, migraine awareness and hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone replacement therapy is one example of how a relatively inexpensive treatment can lower the odds of developing debilitating diseases. Hormone replacement therapy replaces the estrogen and/or progesterone which the body no longer produces after menopause.
Replacement therapy may help reduce or prevent bone loss, hot flashes, moodiness, insomnia, and perspiration. It may also lower the incidence of heart disease in post-menopausal women.
Diabetes awareness is another example. Health care officials predict that one in 15 Texans will be diagnosed with diabetes, and the disease killed 2,200 Texans yearly from 1989 through 1994.
It was responsible for 3,200 amputations annually in Texas. In 1992 alone, diabetes cost Texas $4 billion in direct and indirect costs, according to Texas Department of Health statistics.
Yet many cases of diabetes could be prevented through exercise and diet, said Martha Holt, diabetes educator with the Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital and a scheduled speaker at the forum.
A sedentary life-style and a high-fat diet raise blood sugar levels and put excessive strain on the pancreas, the organ responsible for producing insulin.
“It’s call pancreatic poop-out,” Holt said.
As with diabetes, knowing a few facts about osteoporosis, a woman can take measures to slow the disease’s progress and avoid disability later in life, according to Hawkins.
Presented by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and cosponsored by Stephen F. Austin, the Nacogdoches Medical Center and Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, the forum speakers will include a variety of medical specialists, all well-respected in their fields.
Registration for the conference is $12.50, which also covers lunch and refreshments during breaks. Participants may register at the door of the University Center building or pre-register.
Hawkins recommended that participants preregister by Aug. 27.
“We can’t guarantee a lunch for those registering at the door,” she said.
Participants may preregister by sending their name and address and a check made out to FIT — the Families in Transition Task Force, Drawer 38, Overton, TX 75684.
The FIT task force is a non-profit marketing association formed to address critical issues affecting the economic, emotional and physical integrity of East Texas families. It is composed of Extension family and consumer science agents in 22 East Texas counties, as well as key civic, county and political leaders.
Those wishing more information about FIT and how they can become involved should contact their local county Extension office.