COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and it's more important than ever to raise awareness for this growing disease.
Ann Blair, the director of diabetic services at Columbus Regional Health, visited our studios Tuesday, Nov. 18 to discuss this important issue.
Blair said diabetes on the rise, although the numbers have stabilized a bit according to new data.
"Type 1 affects about 10 percent of people with diabetes," Blair explained. "It's more of an autoimmune destruction where the individual's immune system has destroyed the little cells that make insulin. It's an absolute deficiency.
"Type 2 affects about 90 percent of people with diabetes. They're still making insulin, but they maybe aren't making enough of it, or what they're making is not being used or is not as effective doing what it needs to do."
Blair said some of the symptoms that people most commonly experience are constant fatigue and less energy, as well as frequent trips to the bathroom, especially in the middle of the night. They are also thirsty a lot and may experience blurred vision and have wounds that take a long time to heal.
"People at higher risk are those with a strong family history or family history genetic pre-disposition," Blair said. "Sedentary lifestyles, that pre-disposes us. If we're overweight, if there's more of us there's more demand on our body to produce insulin."
There are so many opportunities, just parking your car a little further from the store and walking a little more, taking the stairs
Blair said meal planning is essential to your health whether or not you have diabetes.
"Meal planning in and of itself is cornerstone of therapy for all of us – somebody with no issues, somebody with pre-diabetes, somebody with diabetes. Good meal planning, not necessarily a diet, a meal plan that's healthy, that's balanced, with a focus on moderation and consistency."
For more information call (706) 321-3741 or visit