866-582-9596

Greenville/Spartanburg

110A Aztec Ct Duncan, SC 29334 Phone: 864-233-6700 Fax: 864-233-6799 Phone: 864-582-9596 Fax: 864-582-9597

Charleston

4042 Ashley Phosphate Rd North Charleston, SC 29418 Phone: 843-767-3344 Fax: 843-767-8844

Myrtle Beach

1406 Commerce Place, Suite J Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 Phone: 843-839-5101 Fax: 843-839-5103

Beaufort

1180 Ribaut Rd. Suite 2 Beaufort, SC 29902 Phone: 843-379-0612 Fax: 843-379-0613

Columbia

1401 St. Andrews Road, Suite 150 Columbia, SC 29210 Phone: 803-282-9700 Fax: 803-828-7433

Savannah

11 Executive Circle, Suite B Savannah, GA 31406 Phone: 912-355-3446 Fax: 912-355-3447
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Health Issues

Diabetes Overview and Facts

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

There are 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8% of the population, who have diabetes. While an estimated 17.9 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, unfortunately, 5.7 million people (or nearly one quarter) are unaware that they have the disease.

In order to determine whether or not a patient has pre-diabetes or diabetes, health care providers conduct a Fasting Plasma Glucose Test (FPG) or an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT). Either test can be used to diagnose pre-diabetes or diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends the FPG because it is easier, faster, and less expensive to perform.

With the FPG test, a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dl signals pre-diabetes. A person with a fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dl or higher has diabetes.

In the OGTT test, a person's blood glucose level is measured after a fast and two hours after drinking a glucose-rich beverage. If the two-hour blood glucose level is between 140 and 199 mg/dl, the person tested has pre-diabetes. If the two-hour blood glucose level is at 200 mg/dl or higher, the person tested has diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. 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 two problems:

  • Right away, your cells may be starved for energy.
  • Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

Finding out you have diabetes is scary. But don't panic. Type 2 diabetes is serious, but people with diabetes can live long, healthy, happy lives.

While diabetes occurs in people of all ages and races, some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.