Thursday, March 20, 2008

Piedmont Fayette Hospital Celebrates American Diabetes Alert March 25th

What disease, known as the “silent killer,” is responsible for killing more than 1,700 Georgians each year? Answer: Diabetes. March 25 marks the 20th anniversary of the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Alert Day, a one-day, “wake-up” call to inform Americans about the seriousness of diabetes. Piedmont Fayette Hospital wants to alert the local community about the importance of being tested for diabetes.

Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s Diabetes Care program, certified by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), provides education and training to individuals diagnosed with Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Certified diabetes educators offer a comprehensive approach that includes nutrition and meal planning counseling, blood-glucose monitoring, medication and insulin delivery options and more. Participants in the program receive personal counseling and can attend diabetes care classes at the hospital, which focus on healthy meal planning, exercise and weight management and medication management in a group setting.

“The main thing we try to stress to the patients we counsel is that diabetes management is a balancing act,” said Denise Bennett, diabetes education coordinator with Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “There are wonderful medications to help, but I always tell my patients, ‘you can overeat or under-exercise every medication out there.’”

The 20th annual American Diabetes Alert Day is an opportunity to educate the American public about the seriousness of diabetes. The ADA estimates that more than six million children and adults in the U.S. do not know they have diabetes and one in five Americans is at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. They encourage all Americans to talk to their doctors about the risks of diabetes to find out if they are at risk for developing diabetes.

It is estimated that 5-10 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have Type 1. The majority has Type 2, typically caused by poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Gestational diabetes affects about four percent of all pregnant women in the U.S. each year. Pre-diabetes, a condition where a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of Type 2, affects four million Americans.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use sugar. Sugar, or glucose, is the basic fuel for the cells in the body, and insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause serious health problems.

However, Bennett finds that too many people focus on sugar from food and not the physiology of the body. People receive sugar from foods, but the liver also produces glucose, so not eating enough can actually raise the blood sugar and cause the liver to work overtime to produce enough glucose. She recommends involving the entire family in diabetes management, because they can help in making healthy food choices, developing a plan for regular exercise, and properly monitoring diabetes medications.

“It is important to recognize how many Georgians are at risk for diabetes and encourage people to get tested so they can catch it and get treated early,” said Darrell Cutts, president and chief executive officer of Piedmont Fayette Hospital. “Our Diabetes Care program educates individuals with diabetes about the resources they need to help manage their diabetes successfully.”

Physician referral is required for the Diabetes Care program. For more information about PFH's diabetes education services, call 770-719-7007. To learn more about Piedmont Fayette Hospital, visit For more information about Diabetes Alert Day, visit
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

No comments: