When Merrell Stagliano learned that Tanner Health System’s Get Healthy, Live Well was hosting a Diabetes Awareness Day event, she thought it would be a good idea to attend.
While Stagliano isn’t diabetic, her mother, Jane York, is. Because diabetes runs in the family, she wanted to learn more about management and prevention. She and her mother were among the people at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton on March 19 for the free community health event.
According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 29 million Americans struggle with diabetes, and that number is only increasing with time. When it comes to diabetes, blood sugar control is important, but there are other medications and evaluations you need. The March 19 event included a healthy cooking demonstration, informational booths, health screenings and risk assessments.
Ken M. Danis, DPM, board-certified in podiatric surgery with West Georgia Podiatry Associates, P.C., in Carrollton, and Amy Eubanks, MD, board-certified in internal medicine with Tanner Internal Medicine of Bremen, were also available to help answer any questions.
“Diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including nerve damage, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and lower-limb amputations,” said Dr. Eubanks. “You can help prevent these problems by keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels under control.”
Type 2 diabetes is often preceded by prediabetes, which means blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be defined as diabetes. Making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Losing weight if overweight, reducing calorie intake, eating less refined sugars and exercising are some of the things that can help prevent diabetes.
“Get Healthy, Live Well is working to educate the community about the risk factors associated with diabetes,” said Jamie Brandenburg, chronic disease outreach coordinator at Get Healthy, Live Well. “If a person finds out they’re at risk for developing diabetes, they can take steps to protect their health.”
One thing Stagliano learned at the March 19 event is the amount of fat that’s in the food she eats.
“I think seeing the amount of fat that you eat in different things and what that actually looks like was very eye opening,” she said. “If people can see what they’re putting into their bodies — a lot of times, it’s a wake-up call.”