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Awareness urged during ADM
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American Diabetes Month (ADM) is a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of proper diabetes control.  

In Effingham County alone, over 3,000 people have diabetes. Effingham Hospital has organized free health screenings and literature giveaways in the hospital to draw attention to this serious and deadly disease.

Free blood glucose screenings will be conducted by Effingham Hospital in the employee health office at Highway 119 on the following dates and times:
• Nov. 13, 8-10 a.m.
• Nov. 20, 8-10 a.m.

For the most accurate reading, individuals are urged to fast two hours before being tested.  Individuals at high risk or experiencing diabetes symptoms should take this opportunity to get tested.  High risk individuals are over the age of 40, overweight, lead sedentary lives and have a family history of diabetes.  African Americans are at increased risk for diabetes.

Symptoms of diabetes are extreme thirst, frequent urination, tingling in hands or feet and blurred vision.

For more information on the screening call Dawn Cheney at 754-6451.

In the U.S., 23.6 million people, 7.8 percent of the population, have diabetes.  Over 5.7 million of these people don’t know they have it.  If current trends continue, one out of three Americans born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime.

• Since 1987 the death rate due to diabetes has increased 45 percent, while the death rates due to heart disease, stroke and cancer have declined

• Keeping blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol in control can make a difference in reducing your risk for heart attack or stroke

• Annual dilated eye exams and routine foot exams and blood pressure checks can prevent blindness, amputations, heart disease, kidney disease and strokes

Diabetes complications
Heart disease and stroke

• Heart disease and stroke account for 65 percent of deaths in people with diabetes
• The risk for stroke and heart disease is 2-4 times higher among people with diabetes

Kidney disease
• Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, accounting for 44 percent of new cases
• In 2002, 45,000 people with diabetes began treatment for end-stage renal disease

• More than 60 percent on non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes
• In 2004, 71,000 lower limb amputations were performed on people with diabetes

• Diabetic retinopathy causes 12,000-24,000 new cases of blindness each year making diabetes the leading cause of new blindness in adults 20-74 years of age

Preventing or delaying diabetes complications — remember the ABC’s:
• A is for A1C, short for hemoglobin A1C — measures average blood glucose (sugar) over the past 3 months.  Check twice a year.

• B is for blood pressure. High blood pressure makes the heart work too hard and can cause damage to the kidney and eyes.  Check every doctor’s visit.

• C is for cholesterol. Bad cholesterol, LDL, builds up and clogs arteries, leading to heart attacks and stroke.  Check once a year.

To further increase the knowledge of this serious disease, The American Diabetes Association is hosting Diabetes University 2009 in Brunswick, Savannah and Statesboro. Diabetes University is a half or full-day educational experience designed to reach out to those in the community affected by diabetes.   

As the number of diagnosed diabetics continues to grow, so does the need for diabetes education.

The American Diabetes Association hopes to reach out to more than 500 people to spread the important message of diabetes education.

Anyone who is living with diabetes and wants to learn how to better manage this disease is invited to attend this program. A variety of seminars will be offered on taking care of your eyes, heart, and feet along with exhibits of new products, “Ask the Experts” booths, healthy snacks and door prizes.