Diabetes Awareness—Don’t Sugar-coat It

What is Diabetes?

When you have diabetes, your body has trouble using sugar (glucose) in the blood. This leads to too much sugar in your blood.

A diabetes diagnosis can be scary. If your doctor tells you you’re at risk for developing diabetes, you should take it very seriously. But there are ways you can start living healthier right away. If you already have diabetes, you can control it and be a healthy person living with diabetes.

Diabetes in South Carolina

Diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes and face its devastating consequences. What’s true nationwide also is true in South Carolina.

S.C. ranks 7th highest in the nation in the percent of adult population with diabetes.

  • The prevalence of diabetes increases with age – a dramatic increase can be seen among those 45 years of age and older.
  • Approximately 1 in 6 African-Americans in South Carolina has diabetes. South Carolina had the 17th highest rate of diabetes among African-Americans in the nation.
  • About 79 percent of adults with diabetes have high blood pressure.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to many complications including blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes and amputations.
  • In 2014, three people died each day from diabetes – that is one death from diabetes every 8 hours.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in South Carolina after heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents,
    stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
If you think you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes, learn more about our free
Diabetes Prevention Program

Diabetes and prediabetes cost an estimated $5.4 billion in South Carolina each year.

The serious complications include heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness—and death.

People with diabetes have medical expenses approximately 2.3 times higher than those who do not have diabetes.

  • In 2014, the total amount for hospital charges related to diabetes diagnosis in South Carolina was $404 million
  • Diabetes hospital costs have increased by 60 percent in the past five years in South Carolina
  • Medicare and Medicaid paid for more than two-thirds of this cost

Are You at Risk?

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Your provider can diagnose diabetes through blood tests. These tests show if your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high.

First Line of Defense

A black couple outdoors in a city park, exercising together. They are carrying handweights, power walking, jogging or running on a sunny day to stay in shape. They are talking and laughing.

Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a “diet” or “program.” It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.


person with diabetes doing a finger stick to measure blood suger

The Diabetes Self-Management Program provides in-depth instruction for patients who have type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes.