More than a quarter of a million Mississippians have Type 2 diabetes, the preventable type.That's a full twelve percent of the state. It's the second highest rate in the nation.
But a local hospital has a pair of events coming up this week that it hopes will help bring those numbers down.
Diabetes is a disease that, if left unchecked, can have life altering side effects. There are numerous signs of diabetes, but the best one is simply knowing your family history.
"Family history is a great thing to know," said Terri Patterson, a nurse and program director for Anderson Diabetes Center. "And if you do know that your family has diabetes, then you want to watch for increased thirst; you want to watch for excessive weight gain. You want to make sure that if you are getting up at night to go to the restroom, then that's a warning sign that there may be something going on with your blood sugar."
Diabetes is a chronic condition, which is why it is so important that those who have this disease constantly monitor their blood sugar to keep complications from happening.
"We do a comprehensive program here. We provide you with a diet to follow, which is not all the things you can't eat, but how much of the things you should eat, and how that affects your blood sugar," said Patterson. "We help to give the patient the understanding of how to do this."
Anderson's has two events coming up this week to not only raise educational awareness about diabetes, but also raise money for research.
An open house is Thursday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Anderson Diabetes Center on 23rd Avenue. The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi has an annual walk set for Sunday, Oct. 23. Registration for the walk begins at 1 p.m., with the walk starting at 2 p.m. at Bonita Lakes Park.
All the money raised is kept in Mississippi for research.
Here are a few tips for diabetes prevention and, if you already have it, ways to improve your health.
Get more active. More exercise can help control diabetes by helping you lose weight and lowering your blood sugar.
Experts say you should also eat foods with plenty of fiber and whole grains.