Between 2000 and 2013, there were 223,924 diabetes-related hospitalizations in Georgia. More than 1 in 10 Georgia adults has diabetes, or more than a million people. Several hundred thousand more Georgians have pre-diabetes, a condition that can be prevented from becoming full diabetes through weight loss, increased physical activity, and better nutrition.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the pancreas’ ability to produce the hormone, insulin. Insulin helps regulate the glucose level in the blood. The recommended blood glucose range is anywhere between 70-110 mg/dl. With diabetes the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin to go throughout the body, the body rejects the insulin that is produced, or does not produce any insulin at all.
There are 3 recognized types of diabetes—
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas does not produce any insulin and the diabetic takes insulin injections to regulate blood glucose levels.
- In Type 2 diabetes the pancreas produced too little insulin or the body rejects the insulin being produced. This type of diabetes can often be controlled with oral medication, diet and exercise.
- Gestational diabetes is when pregnant women have an increase in blood glucose levels due to the pancreas not producing enough insulin.
The symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive hunger, extreme thirst, blurred vision, fatigue and nausea. Constant blood glucose monitoring is crucial for optimal control. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels could lead to complications such as blindness, kidney disease, slow healing wounds, and even death.
This report provides an overview of diabetes and the burden of the disease in Georgia, the cost and complications of diabetes, and information regarding how the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) proposes to address diabetes in partnership with the Department of Community Health and other state agencies.