According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 37 million children and adults have diabetes in the United States. In Florida, it’s over 2 million people, including 11.6% of the adults.

Dr. Stephen Giorgianni, a primary care provider at Complete Health Ormand Beach West and Complete Health’s Chief Physician for Metro-Daytona, says the higher your A1C, the more likely you will have complications from the disease. “It’s so important for patients to see their provider at least four times a year to get their A1C checked. Without that information, it’s difficult to determine the right medication plan for a patient.”

A hemoglobin A1C test measures the average blood sugar from the previous three months. For those with diabetes, knowing your A1C consistently throughout the year helps your care team manage your diabetes better, reducing the risk of heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Dr. Giorgianni says this is what you need to know about Diabetes:

  1. Diabetes is hereditary. If you have a mother, father, sister, or brother with diabetes, you are more likely to get it yourself. Keep your primary care doctor informed of your family history, and don’t skip your annual wellness and bloodwork visit.
  2. Know the symptoms. Symptoms can include extreme thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, unintended weight loss, blurred vision, extreme hunger, slow-healing sores, and infections. If you experience symptoms, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor.
  3. Understand your A1C test results. Diabetes is diagnosed at an A1C of greater than or equal to 6.5%. Prediabetes is considered when the A1C result is 5.7% – 6.4%.
  4. Prediabetes does not have clear symptoms. It’s important to visit your primary care doctor for your annual wellness visit and blood work. Those diagnosed with prediabetes do not always develop into diabetes. If you follow a treatment plan with diet and exercise, you can prevent it.
  5. You can reduce your risk by 58%. You can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes by losing 7% of your body weight and exercising moderately. Moderate exercise can include a brisk walk of 30 minutes daily, five days a week.

To learn more about Complete Health’s Diabetes Education Program, Power Over Diabetes, visit