World Diabetes Day 2023 focusing on people knowing their risk

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 9:46 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - According to Sentara RMH’s diabetes education services, there are more than 600,000 people who are managing diabetes, on top of 2.1 million people managing pre-diabetes.

The theme with this year’s world diabetes day is people knowing their risk.

“When they get that diagnosis, it’s often a shock. There may be some denial and we really enjoy coming alongside and working with individuals to give them the resources support and education that they need to prevent complications to manage it well,” Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist Laura WIlliamson said.

Laura Williamson, MS, BSN, RN, CDCES said diabetes prevention programs are there to address someone’s needs where anyone can find out their risk online.

A team for diabetes education at Sentara RMH said one in four people are managing diabetes or prediabetes without knowing it and there are more risks for the body if left unchecked.

“A danger of not managing diabetes, increases people’s risks of heart disease as well as stroke, and then the complications that accompany high blood sugars over long periods of time,” Williamson said

Other risks include microvascular changes that lead to numbness in the feet along with issues involving their eyes, skin, and kidneys.

Laura Williamson said people can get an idea of where they stand with diabetes by going to the CDC’s website. The diabetes support group at Sentara RMH will meet on November 28.

Prediabetes is the stage before type 2 diabetes, health professionals confirm that it is reversible at this stage with lifestyle modifications with increasing exercise activity and controlling food intake.

The American Diabetes Association has guidelines, resources, and tips for people to live healthily with a diagnosis.