Doctors say diabetes is becoming one of our area's biggest health risks, affecting more and more local folks each and every year.
Dr. Jennifer Lawrence says, "This area has twice the rate of diabetes than the state of Georgia, so Georgia has a diabetes rate of about seven percent, and this area has a rate of about 14 percent, and it's still a growing problem. It's been a worldwide explosion."
Doctors say the most disturbing thing is that they don't really know why the diabetes rates are so high in this area.
Local health experts say dealing with a problem like diabetes can be very difficult on your own, and that's why they are holding special group meetings at local treatment centers; that way, people with experience can come forward and help those just now beginning to deal with the problem.
Dawn Taylor, the diabetes support group leader, says, "We've found it very helpful for them to develop relationships and share tips and ideas that someone else has dealt with diabetes problems, and learn how they've gotten through it, so it's good to have that support."
Doctors say the support is important, but even more critical to reversing the diabetes problem in our region is getting an early diagnosis. Doctors say that way, lifesaving treatments can begin and really make a difference.