Diabetes cases increase nationwide, costing Americans billions o - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Diabetes cases increase nationwide, costing Americans billions of dollars

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population now have diabetes, and the medical costs to treat it are skyrocketing.

Poor diet and not enough exercise are directly connected to obesity which can lead to developing Type-2 Diabetes.

"Type-2 Diabetes comes about basically from three factors, one is weight, second is age (your ability to handle sugar gets worse as you get older), and three is a genetic component," said Midtown Medical Center Family Medicine Program Director Dr. Clark Gillett. 

People with diabetes are at increased risk of serious health complications.

"Blood sugar being high is not the only problem; it's not the major problem. The major problems are the vascular complications, the cardiac complications, the nerve damage," Dr. Gillette warned.

Blindness, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputation of toes, feet or legs, and premature death are also risk factors. 

Dr. Gillette warned Columbus and minorities are even more at risk. 

"We're a Southern state, we also have a large minority population in Columbus. We have a large obese population in Columbus so it's just as bad here if not worse," Gillette said. 

$245 billion is spent on diabetes related issues every year, up from $174 billion in 2010, according to the CDC. 
     
The good news is that diabetes is manageable.

"If they can get their blood sugar under control," Dr. Gillette said. "I 've had people who have lost considerable amounts of weight and have gone off all their diabetic medication and they control it with diet."

To offer support to the community, Midtown Medical Center offers free diabetes education classes. The classes are held the 2nd Saturday of each month from 9:00 - 11:30 a.m. at the Conference Center.

According to the hospitals website the classes are led by Certified Diabetes Educators. The class offers, "effective ways to help participants lean how to manage diabetes, focusing on basic meal planning, medical management and lifestyle".

To register call: (706) 321-3741. 

CDC Report: http://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/2014/dpk-diabetes-report.html?s_cid=cdc_homepage_feature_001

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