Type 2 diabetes is becoming an epdidemic, according to leaders of a seminar.

Diabetes was the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States according to the American Diabetes Association and makes up 12 percent of all US deaths.

Stephen and Karen Wickham from Grundy County, Tennessee, have been teaching Grundy Reversing Diabetes Seminars for four years and received multiple awards for their work. The couple put together the seminar after learning their county had the lowest or worst health rankings in Tennessee.

The seminar series will be in Ottawa, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. It is a free public seminar and will be in the Franklin County Office Annex, 1418 S. Main St., Ottawa, in the county commission chambers. For more information or to pre-register, call Liz Wolzen at (913) 982-6549 or email at lwolzen@yahoo.com

County health rankings show Franklin County has a diabetes rate of 9 percent compared to the state’s overall rate of 10 percent.

According to the medical experts, diabetes is a precurser to stroke and up to 24 percent of people with the disease don’t know it.

Risks of diabetes includes being overweight, over 45, having a family history of type 2 diabetes and being physically active less than three times a week. Those that have one of those risks are encouraged to be tested for diabetes.

Those who have participated in the seminar have experienced significant improvement in their health, including weight loss, reduction of blood pressure and even reversing their diabetes, Wolzen said.