You Have the Power to Prevent Diabetes!

By Betsy Crick

Dr. Rhonda Hill, DHEC Director of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health, along community partners at a press conference at the S.C. State House celebrating Diabetes Alert Day earlier this week.

Dr. Rhonda Hill, DHEC Director of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health, along community partners at a press conference at the S.C. State House celebrating Diabetes Alert Day earlier this week.

Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance, a condition linked to excess weight in which your body’s cells do not use insulin properly. Over time, high blood glucose damages nerves and blood vessels, leading to problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, dental disease, and amputations.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals can delay and possibly prevent the disease by losing a small amount of weight (5 to 7 percent of total body weight) through 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week, and healthier eating.

Diabetes was linked to 1,239 deaths in our state in 2013.  DHEC is working with partners across the state to provide greater access to key resources to help South Carolinians either prevent or manage the disease.  Key initiatives include:

  • Increasing the number of federally-qualified health centers and medical practices in our state that have modified their electronic health records to identify people at risk for developing type 2 diabetes and assisting them with getting the help they need;
  • Increasing the number of recognized American Diabetes Association or accredited American Association of Diabetes Educators self-management education/training programs in South Carolina’s federally qualified health centers and medical practices; and
  • Increasing the number of active diabetes prevention program sites for the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes.

To learn more about diabetes prevention and management, please visit the DHEC website.

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