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Around the Home: Living well with diabetes is topic of Sept. 10 workshop
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 26 million children and adults have diabetes in the United States. Out of that number, nearly 95 percent have Type 2 diabetes. If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to serious complications including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputation and even death.

Sadly the incidence of diabetes has again increased across all age groups, genders and races. Currently diabetes affects 25.8 million people or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. Unfortunately 7 million of those individuals are not diagnosed, so they are not receiving proper treatment.

Today, more than 5,200 people will be diagnosed with diabetes, the majority of them with Type 2 diabetes. A new American Diabetes Association initiative called Living with Type 2 Diabetes is a program designed to support those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. People may enroll in this free program by visiting www.diabetes.org/living or by calling 1-800-DIABETES.

The CDC has updated its fact sheet on diabetes in the United States. The risk of death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people of a similar age without diabetes. Based on death certificates from 2007, it appears that diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. However, deaths are often underreported because the person dies from a complication of diabetes and not diabetes itself.

Diabetes leads to many serious and expensive complications if it is not well controlled including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness and eye problems, kidney disease, nervous system dysfunction, periodontal disease, pregnancy complications and nontraumatic lower limb amputations.

People with diabetes also report more depression. Good control of blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol and triglyceride levels can reduce risk for these complications.

North Georgians coping with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes have more help than ever before. That is good news for who have lived with their condition for years and great news for the newly diagnosed diabetes patient.

One of the best opportunities to learn more about diabetes and how to keep blood sugar levels under control is right around the corner. Diabetes 101, a comprehensive workshop for diabetics and their caregivers is scheduled for Sept. 10 at the Georgia Mountains Center in Gainesville.

Diabetes 101 will be packed with a choice of classes that will help participants improve their diabetes management skills. Register now to reserve your place and save money. Early registration fees are $10 for one person or $15 for two. After Sept. 5, the fee will be $15 per person.

Don't wait, register today. For registration information, call 1-888-342-2383.

Ginger Bennett is Area Radon Educator for the Hall County Cooperative Extension office, 770-535-8290 or bennettg@uga.edu.

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