Solution to growing diabetes problem? Lifestyle change

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The number of Americans with diabetes continue to climb. Doctors say our lifestyle must change if we ever expect to see that number decrease.

"We continue to have more people with diabetes in the country because we continue to have more obesity," said Dr. Sloan.

As our society's waistband increases, so do the number of diabetics.

"It is a costly disease to take care of," said Dr. Sloan.

Dr. Sloan said Americans need to control their diet before it controls them.

"We continue to eat this kind of high carbohydrate/high fat diet, we're not exercising enough, we're just kind of under stress," he said.

Which can lead to diabetes and a major lifestyle change. Louise Napolitano said diabetes runs in her family. So, when symptoms popped up she knew she had the disease.

"Shakiness, feeling edgy and stuff and I just knew my family history so I went ahead and got checked," she said.

But are doctors over diagnosing?

"Occasionally somebody may be a little bit over diagnosed, but we certainly don't want to miss anyone either," said Dr. Sloan.

From a diabetic of 10 years, Napolitano said controlling her diabetes is a daily struggle.

"You know you can't eat five pieces of pie," she said. "You only have to take one little sliver. It's portion control and it's got to be will power and that's a lot of times it's hard because we all like it."

More than 400 people showed up to Memorial Hospital's Diabetes Awareness Day.

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