Once a month, Pender Memorial Hospital brings together those who have been diagnosed with diabetes for a diabetes support group. It is a chance to share their experience dealing with the disease. "I've learned how to eat better, to eat more vegetables, less meat, and less carbs. I've learned a lot," said Ella West. Most are battling Type II diabetes, the most common form where the body fails to properly use insulin. The support group makes up only a fraction of those who are fighting the disease. 600,000 others across the state have been diagnosed and many others suffer from diabetes without knowing. "It's really imperative that diabetics teach other diabetics and take a more active roll,” said local podiatrist Dr. Robert O’Malley. “I think seminars like this are great because there are a lot of people who have diabetes and don't even know they have diabetes." This week, Senator Kay Hagan proposed the Better Diabetes Care Act to push more preventive measures in the state. Measures like rating how the state is educating the public and delivering care by using a state report card, requiring more training for physicians before they can get board certified, and tracking diabetes as the cause of death on certificates which will point more funding toward diabetes programs. The Better Diabetes Care Act is currently reviewed by a health education committee.
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