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Join Atrium Health Navicent in Recognizing American Diabetes Month

Diabetes, a condition affecting an estimated 463 million people worldwide, is a metabolic disease in which the body is unable to produce enough insulin to regulate glucose levels in the bloodstream. Many cases of diabetes go undiagnosed. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious and life-threatening conditions including blindness, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and amputation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34.2 million Americans have diabetes. That’s 1 in 10 people. Diagnosed cases of diabetes are surging among youth in the U.S. From 2001 to 2017, the number of people under age 20 living with Type 1 diabetes increased by 45 percent, and the number living with Type 2 diabetes grew by 95 percent.

In central Georgia, 17.2 percent of adults have reported being diagnosed with diabetes. Between 2016 and 2018, there was an annual average diabetes mortality rate of 19.5 deaths per 100,000 people, with numbers significantly higher in Peach and Baldwin counties.

Atrium Health Navicent Diabetes Healthways invites the community to recognize World Diabetes Day on Sunday, Nov. 14, and encourages individuals to become more educated about the condition and determine their personal risk for Type 2. Common risk factors include being overweight, a lack of physical activity, a family history of diabetes, and being 45 or older.

World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.

The theme for World Diabetes Day is access to diabetes care. People with diabetes require ongoing care and support to manage their condition and to avoid complications. In the U.S., the CDC estimates that the total medical costs and lost wages for people dealing with diabetes is $327 billion.

“It's not ‘Dia’-betes! It's ‘Liva’-betes! Don't let diabetes ruin your life and let's fight it together,” said Dr. Anusha Ramadhas, an internal medicine, endocrinology diabetes & metabolism doctor with Atrium Health Navicent. “Trained staff at Atrium Health Navicent Diabetes Healthways are available to provide comprehensive education about diabetes management and ongoing support for patients and their families.”

November is also Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Individuals living with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing conditions that affect their vision, including diabetic retinopathy, the most common diabetic eye condition and a leading cause of blindness among diabetic adults.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged, resulting in leaking of the retinal blood vessels and blurred vision. In some cases, this disease can lead to blindness. According to the CDC, one-third of diabetic American adults over the age of 40 have diabetic retinopathy.

Warning signs for diabetic retinopathy include blurry vision, seeing "floating" spots, halos around lights, loss of central vision, and loss of color vision. The CDC recommends diabetic patients receive comprehensive eye exams once a year. If you or a loved one has experienced vision problems, contact Atrium Health Navicent Ophthalmology Macon at 478-633-8033.

For more information about how Atrium Health Navicent Diabetes Healthways can help you improve management of diabetes, call 478-633-1531.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and well-being through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org


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