Tag Archives: diabetes

Know the ABCS of Good Diabetes Control

Taking care of your diabetes and the conditions that come with it can help you lower your chances of heart and blood vessel disease. Every step you take to keep your ABCS (A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol) in your target range and quitting smoking, will help lower your risk of heart disease or a stroke.

  • A is for A1C. The A1C test gives you a picture of your average blood glucose (blood sugar) control for the past two to three months but is different from the blood sugar checks you do each day. The results give you a good idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working. Having too high levels of blood sugar over time can harm your heart, blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes. Ask your health care provider what your goal should be.
  • B is for blood pressure. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder than it should and can lead to a heart attack or stroke.  High blood pressure, often called the silent killer, won’t go away without treatment. That could include lifestyle changes and, if your doctor deems necessary, medicine. Ask your health care provider what your blood pressure goal should be.
  • C is for cholesterol. Your cholesterol numbers tell you about the amount of fat in your blood. Some kinds, like HDL cholesterol, help protect your heart. Others, like LDL cholesterol, can clog your arteries. High triglycerides raise your risk for a heart attack or a stroke. Ask your health care provider what your cholesterol numbers should be.
  •  S is for stop smoking. Not smoking is especially important for people with diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Blood vessel narrowing makes your heart work harder. E-cigarettes aren’t a safe option either. If you are having trouble quitting, the Quitline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free for any SC resident. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

To learn more about your risk for diabetes, click here to take an online risk assessment.  For more information on how to prevent or manage diabetes in SC, please email ndpp@dhec.sc.gov or call 803-898-1934 to speak with someone in DHEC’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health Division.

 Additional Resources to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes

National Diabetes Month: An Overview of the Disease

November is National Diabetes Month and throughout the month, DHEC’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health Division is highlighting the impact diabetes has on the citizens in South Carolina (SC) and millions of Americans across the country.

According to the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, SC ranks seventh highest in the nation in the percent of the adult population with diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes increases with age – a dramatic increase can be seen among those 45 and older. In 2014, three people died each day from diabetes – that is one death from diabetes every eight hours.  Research has shown that improving food choices, a modest weight loss (5-7 percent of body weight) and getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly helps to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

What are the different types of diabetes?

  • Prediabetes – a wake-up call that you are on the path to diabetes. Prediabetes means your blood glucose level is higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes often can be reversed through lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and weight loss. The earlier the diagnosis, the more likely it can be reversed or prevented. When you have prediabetes, it puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. But you can take action to lower those risks by enrolling in a local National Diabetes Prevention Program.
  • Type 1 diabetes – usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% – 10% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.
  • Type 2 diabetes – the most common form of diabetes and approximately 90% – 95% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. If you have type 2 diabetes your body is not able to use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance. Some people with type 2 can control their blood glucose with healthy eating and being active. But, your doctor may need to also prescribe oral or injectable medications to help you meet your target blood glucose levels. Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.
  • Gestational diabetes – During pregnancy – usually around the 24th week – many women develop gestational diabetes. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn’t mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth. Women with gestational diabetes have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. But it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice regarding blood glucose (blood sugar) levels while you’re planning your pregnancy, so you and your baby both remain healthy.

To learn more about your risk for diabetes, click here to take an online risk assessment.  For more information on how to prevent or manage diabetes in SC, please email ndpp@dhec.sc.gov or call 803-898-1934 to speak with someone in DHEC’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health Division.

Additional Resources to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes

DHEC in the News: EMT jobs, WiseWoman health screenings, Narcan

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

EMS Officials Working With Technical College System to Fill EMT Jobs

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- Agencies from around the state made their way to Columbia to discuss how to raise the number of emergency medical technicians.

“We have a shortage in South Carolina. People tend to be educate in South Carolina, become EMTs in South Carolina, and then not stick around. We have a decline every single year in the amount of paramedics that we have in the state,” DHEC EMS Bureau Chief Robert Wronski. “This year we have seen a 1.2 percent decrease in the amount of credentialed paramedics that we have in the state.”

RMC offers free WiseWoman health screenings

The Regional Medical Center and the Tri-County Health Network will offer free WiseWoman™ health screenings and lifestyle education to 200 women ages 40-64 on Saturday, Oct. 14. Doors open at 8 a.m., with screenings available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the RMC Annex.

The WiseWoman™ (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) health screening aims to help low-income women reduce their risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Horry County Sheriff’s Deputies will now carry Narcan

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – For the first time, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office will begin using Narcan.

The Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Law Enforcement Officer Naloxone (LEON) program, which is a partnership between South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), and the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for Narcan training on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wishing You A Healthy Holiday

By Bryony Wardell

Give yourself the gift of good health by making some easy changes and choices this holiday season that can help you feel merry and bright all year long.

Enjoy yourself!

Laugh, dance, get some fresh air, play a game and enjoy the company of others. The special memories with friends and family are what really matter, not the food.

It’s a Party, But Don’t Overdo It

Savor your favorite holiday treats by eating slowly, and really enjoy the recipes that you might only have once a year. Make room for dessert if you like by cutting back on another carbohydrate during your main course. And, be reasonable with your portions – less is more when it comes to anything decadent.

Bring What You Like

Try not to worry about what will be served. Offer to bring your favorite dish to share and make it healthy one so you know you will be able to enjoy yourself.

Try a Healthy Recipe Twist

For the main course, use spices and fresh produce to deliver the flavor instead of oils and salts. Time for dessert? Try baked apples with cinnamon and a sprinkle of sugar instead of apple pie. Or, look for baking recipes that use unsweetened applesauce instead of butter or oil to cut the calories.

Cheers to good health

Stay hydrated with plenty of water to aid digestion and keep your skin looking its  best for holiday photos. Skip the calorie-packed sodas and drink mixers and quench your thirst with low-calorie options like water with lemon, lime or orange slices; unsweet tea or seltzer water with a splash of 100% fruit juice. If you choose to drink alcohol, remember to drink in moderation.

Stay Active
The holidays can be a hard time to manage your weight or conditions like diabetes, but incorporating physical activity into your traditions can make it easier.  Start a pick-up game in the yard, go for a walk before and after a big meal with your family, sign up for a community walk or run or help clean up after the party to keep yourself moving.

Overindulged? Get Back on Track

​If you eat more than you planned for, don’t worry. Just turn your focus on spending the rest of your time with the people around you. Maybe go for a walk and make sure to eat extra healthy the next day.

For more information on eating healthy and managing your health, click here. 

Diabetes Prevention and Management

By Rhonda L. Hill, PhD, MCHES, DHEC Director of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Healthdiabetes

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, which is a great time to understand the impact of diabetes in S.C. and how to prevent and manage this chronic disease. Diabetes is diagnosed when a person’s body does not make enough insulin or cannot properly use insulin (insulin is a hormone needed to turn food into energy).

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes is when your body does not make insulin. This is a problem because you need insulin to take the sugar (glucose) from the foods you eat and turn it into energy for your body. You need to take insulin every day to live.
  • Type 2 diabetes is when your body does not make or use insulin well. You may need to take pills or insulin to help control your diabetes. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
  • Gestational diabetes is diagnosed when women are pregnant. Most of the time, it goes away after the baby is born. But even if it goes away, these women and their children have a greater chance of getting diabetes later in life.

Diabetes in S.C. and the U.S.

South Carolina ranks 4th highest in the nation in the percent of the adult population with diabetes. Approximately 1 in 6 African-Americans in S.C. has diabetes and S.C. has the 3rd highest rate of diabetes among African-Americans in the nation. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age and a dramatic increase can be seen among those 45 years of age and older. Diabetes affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. today—nearly 10 percent of the population. Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes by 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes®.

Risk Factors for Diabetes

Risk factors for diabetes include older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.  Complete the diabetes risk assessment test to determine your risk status.

Personal and Economic Impact of Diabetes

About 81 percent of adults with diabetes have high blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes can lead to many complications including blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes and amputations. Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your:

  • Heart – Increases your risk of having a heart attack
  • Eyes – Worsens your eyesight and may lead to blindness
  • Mouth – Increases your risk of dental and gum disease
  • Kidneys – Can lead to kidney failure requiring dialysis
  • Feet – Can decrease blood circulation to lower extremities, which can result in leg or foot amputations
  • Nerves – Can damage nerves, affecting many parts of the body
  • Genital organs – Can cause sexual problems
  • Brain – Can lead to a stroke

However, by lowering your blood sugar levels, you can prevent or delay these complications. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is $245 billion and the direct medical costs reach $176 billion. The average medical expenditure among people with diabetes is more than two times higher than those without the disease and indirect costs amount to $69 billion (disability, work loss, premature mortality). One in 10 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications.

Resources to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes