DENVER (CBS4) – Coloradans learned more about their risk for diabetes and how to prevent the illness at the American Diabetes Association Expo on Saturday.

The event offered free health screenings and information about the disease that doctors say is growing in Colorado.

“This is a way to educate them to screen them,” said Dr. Barr Foreman.

Health services were offered for many who otherwise may go undiagnosed.

“We don’t want patients to get complications,” said Foreman.

PHOTO GALLERY: American Diabetes Association Expo 2014

Alyssa Bennett is a young girl who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year. She manages her disease with the help of a furry friend.

“When my blood sugar is low she will alert me like bark or something,” said Bennett.

Bennett’s dog, Pumpkin, is the 9-year-old’s diabetic alert dog given to her by the Foothills Kiwanis Club of Boulder.

Pumpkin, A diabetic alert dog. With her owner Alyssa. (credit: CBS)

Pumpkin, A diabetic alert dog. With her owner Alyssa. (credit: CBS)

“When your blood sugar goes low or high, your body chemistry changes, which means your body odor changes, and they sense the odor,” said Jerry Gilland from

RELATED: Program Pairs Young Diabetes Patients With Service Dogs

The organization was just one of the many booths at the expo.

Doctors say about 316,000 people in Colorado have diabetes, and it’s important to get diagnosed to prevent problems down the road.

“The better they take care of themselves now, the better they’ll be later on in life,” said Foreman.

While the illness can be serious, it’s also manageable, something Bennett and Pumpkin take on every day.

“I can’t recognize my lows, so she has been very helpful with that,” said Bennett.

LINK: American Diabetes Association Website


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