Eye On Health: Diabetes education - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Eye On Health: Diabetes education

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Every 19 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes.

Jason Peter, Diabetes Educator CHI Memorial says, "A lot of times people know what they need to do and they know what they want to do, but it is difficult to make that change."

And that is a major part of the problem. From diet to exercise, breaking bad habits can be a struggle. Jason Peter is a diabetes educator at CHI Memorial.

He's part of a team at the Diabetes and Nutrition Center who is now putting more emphasis on starting early, identifying those at risk, and working to prevent them from developing what can be a life threatening condition.

Jackie Rogers says, "They're starting to diagnose pre-diabetes and we're having a chance to work with people before they develop diabetes."   

Diabetes is a life long disease that affects the way your body handles glucose, which is a kind of sugar in your blood.

Jackie says one of the biggest problems is obesity, so she works with patients on how to change their diet.

Rogers says, "So we start working with the diet, lowering carbs, looking at portion sizes, giving them so many carbs to aim for each meal, exercise is very important."

And Jackie says when it comes to things like fruits and vegetables, be careful, some contain quite a bit more sugar and carbs than others.

Deep colored berries are better when it comes to fruit.

Rogers says, "That's the blueberries, black berries, the strawberries, the deeper the berry those are foods we want to keep in our diet."

Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness, kidney failure, and it nearly doubles the risk for a heart attack.

That's why Jackie and Jason say education is so important. Their classes focus on nutrition, exercise,and the importance of monitoring your blood sugar.      

So, if you notice symptoms like frequent urination, feeling thirsty, blurry vision, or tingling pain in your hands and feet, see your doctor.

Peter says, "I would have to say don't wait until it's too late, don't make that one large complication bring you in to start treating your diabetes."

Get help early.
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(ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

Hamilton County Stats
*About 61 percent are overweight or obese
*Almost 1 out of every 3 Adults is sedentary
*Adult diabetes prevalence has increased 42% since 1999

DIABETES AND NUTRITION CENTER
 (423) 495-7970.

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