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Central Georgia specialist urges people to learn ways to manage diabetes

More than 73,000 people in Georgia are diagnosed with diabetes each year.

MACON, Ga. — Glenda Collins was going to the doctor for a checkup when she just found out she was diagnosed with diabetes. 

She said her brother has it and her sister had it before she passed away. Now, she's just learning how to manage it.

"Trying to get used to it," Collins said.

Every year, more than 73,000 people in the state of Georgia are diagnosed with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

There are two type of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. 

Type 1 is when your body doesn't produce insulin. This means your body doesn't break down the food you eat to give your body energy.

Type 1 diabetes is more common in children and it is manageable.

Type 2 diabetes is when your body doesn't use glucose properly. This means that your body can't control how much energy you get from what you eat, so it's managed by giving you insulin.

Charles Anderson was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when he was 21. He said he had to change his lifestyle, but he knows how to manage it.

"Now, I'll check it my blood sugar about 4-5 times a day, I'll stay active, I'm always cognizant of what I eat and how much I eat," Anderson said.

Lisa Carter is a diabetes educator for Atrium Health Navicent Diabetes Healthways. She said some classic symptoms of diabetes are extreme thirst and hunger, excessive urination, fatigue, and weight loss.

According to the ADA, "of the 37.3 million adults with diabetes, 28.7 million were diagnosed, and 8.5 million were undiagnosed."

"Sadly, people with diabetes are a lot more at risk of heart attack and stroke than the general population, so if we can control those parameters, hopefully we'll prevent that complication," Carter said.

Without proper management or going to your doctor, you can be at a higher risk of complications. Some include amputation, blindness and kidney failure.

To learn more about diabetes, go to diabetes.org.

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