Tag Archives: diabetes

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

Award-Winning Diabetes Research

By Kate Callahan, DrPH MPH, DHEC Chronic Disease Epidemiologist

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was well represented at the 21st Annual Fall Diabetes Symposium in North Charleston on September 17 and 18. Staff from the Division of Chronic Disease Epidemiology contributed six of the 13 scientific posters at the symposium, and their graduate assistants were awarded first and second place in the poster competition for their impressive diabetes research.
Dana AlHasan received 1st place
Dana AlHasan received 1st place for her research that examined how the presence of different food outlets, such as fast food restaurants, contributed to the risk of diabetes.Second place Winners (2) 700w

Andrew Fogner and Charity Breneman received 2nd place for their research that evaluated trends of hospitalization rates for diabetes among individuals with additional comorbidities.

Other research that was displayed by the Chronic Disease Epidemiology staff addressed the burden of pre-diabetes among adults in South Carolina, the burden of diabetes among children in South Carolina, the impact of neighborhood-level characteristics on emergency department use among patients with diabetes, and the association between parent diabetes status and the health behaviors and outcomes of their children.

The Annual Fall Diabetes Symposium is an important, local venue that provides updates and trends in diabetes care, research, and burden that are needed to drive relevant care and research that makes an impact on diabetes in South Carolina. The Division of Chronic Disease Epidemiology staff were honored to be given the opportunity to contribute such a large amount of diabetes research to the symposium.

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.

Are you at risk for diabetes?

By Katie Philpott

Today is National Diabetes Alert Day, a day on which the American Diabetes Association (ADA) stresses the importance of learning your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Here in the Palmetto State, 1 out of every 5 hospital patients has diabetes.  In 2012 alone, diabetes hospitalizations in South Carolina cost more than $280 million.

One of the most notable risk factors for diabetes is your weight. Being overweight or obese can significantly increase your chance of developing diabetes. That’s why here at DHEC we’re focusing on promoting programs that address both diabetes and obesity, like the CDC-led national Diabetes Prevention Program.

Take a moment to take the ADA’s quick, online risk assessment tool that asks simple questions to help identify your risk for developing diabetes, and visit our website for tips on how to prevent diabetes.