Diabetes Alert Day Risk Assessment-Free Screenings and Lecture Offered on March 27

BRUNSWICK, Georgia: March 20, 2012–Diabetes is often called the “silent killer” because people who have it are often unaware they are affected. Southeast Georgia Health System will take steps to increase awareness of this serious disease on Diabetes Alert Day, a national event promoted by the American Diabetes Association.

On Tuesday, March 27, the Health System will offer free diabetes risk assessments and blood glucose screenings from 7:30-10:30 a.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. at the Camden Campus Conference Center, 2000 Dan Proctor Drive, St. Marys, and the Brunswick Campus Kemble Conference Center, 3011 Kemble Ave. Fasting of eight hours, or two hours after a meal, is recommended for accurate screening results.

An evening lecture titled "Are You Prediabetic?" will be presented by the diabetes educators at 6:30 p.m. on both campuses. American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Alert Day is held every year on the fourth Tuesday of March to call attention to diabetes and to encourage everyone to find out if they are at risk. Over the last few decades, diabetes has become widespread in the United States. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 25.8 million children and adults suffer from diabetes (type 1 or type 2), and an estimated 79 million adults aged 20 years and older have prediabetes. Georgians are not exempt; the Georgia Department of Human Resources reports that diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases. A new report by the International Diabetes Foundation is predicting that one in 10 adults worldwide will have diabetes by 2030.

There’s a simple reason for that, according to Evelyn Tatum, R.N., CDE, educator, Diabetes Program, at the Southeast Georgia Health System Camden Campus.

"If you look around, there are more overweight people than ever before. People are getting less physical activity and eating the wrong kinds of food," Tatum says. "While diabetes is often a hereditary condition, it is still possible to develop diabetes even if you have no known history of it in your family. Early diagnosis and treatment of prediabetes may prevent type 2 diabetes as well as the associated complications."

Prediabetes is the state that occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. Studies have shown that many people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years and have an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

"It can be difficult to know if you have prediabetes, because there are usually no symptoms," says Winsome Bright, R.N., CDE, coordinator, Diabetes Program, Brunswick Campus. "However, if you fall into the risk category of type 2 diabetes, you should be tested because there are things you can do to prevent full-blown diabetes, such as diet and exercise."

In addition to this day of free screenings, Southeast Georgia Health System offers year-round diabetes education classes and support groups at its Brunswick and Camden campuses. The Southeast Georgia Health System Outpatient Diabetes Education Program was recently awarded the American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Certificate for a quality diabetes self-management education program. It is the only program in Georgia south of Macon to receive this honor. For more information about Diabetes Alert Day, free health screenings, or to register for diabetes education classes, call 912-466-5606 in Brunswick or 912-576-6488 in Camden, or email.