Diabetes

Diabetes is a group of disorders characterized by poor control of the levels of sugar in the body. For more information, please visit the "American Diabetes Association" page listed first on the sidebar.
Risk Factors
(Although anyone can develop diabetes, the following put people at increased risk):
  • Low or middle class income
  • African American, Hispanic American, American Indian, Asian American, Pacific Islander
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoker
  • Over use of Alcohol
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Age greater than 45 years.
  • Have a close relative with diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Women who deliver a baby that is heavier than 9 pounds.
  • History of vascular disease (disease of the blood vessels).



Prevention
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Reduced  intake of unhealthy fats (trans and saturated fats).
  • Increased physical activity/ weight loss. Check out the "Exercise for Diabetes" website on the sidebar.
  • Increase intake of dietary fiber (whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables). 
  • Decreased intake of "white" flour, white rice, and sugary foods.
  • Frequent screening to assess for blood glucose level changes.
  • Abstinence from or moderate use of alcohol.
  • No smoking



















Management/ Care
  • The goal is to maintain glycemic control throughout a person's lifespan.
  • Many people find support groups helpful to deal with the diagnosis of diabetes. They also help to maintain better control over diabetes and help those with diabetes make the lifestyle changes needed to prevent complications.  Wellstar hospitals in Douglas and Paulding counties have these support groups. Check out the "Support Groups" website on the sidebar to find one close to you.
  • People with diabetes need to be well educated in the drugs prescribed for them. Insulin is a commonly prescribed medication for diabetes. A diabetes educator can help those with diabetes understand how to properly take medications.
  • Nutrition is a big part of managing Diabetes. A nutritionist can help you make meal plans catered to what you like to eat and what is good for you. Check out the "Healthy Diabetes Diet" page on the sidebar to help prepare healthy meals.
  • Long- term Diabetes, that is not properly maintained,  can lead to loss of feet/ legs, so be educated in proper foot care techniques.