Diabetes Alert for East Texans

Jackie Reagan is one of the lucky ones. At only 25, she may be attached to an insulin pump, but finding out she had type one diabetes early turned out to be blessing.

"Most people, especially the type ones, find out by going into a coma and being hospitalized," says Jackie Reagan, a diabetic. "Fortunately, we caught it before that ever happened, especially at the age of 17."

Jackie's priorities changed after her diabetes diagnosis. But, she says it's nothing she or anybody else can't handle.

"There are things I have to do differently from everybody else," says Jackie. "You know testing four or five times a day, counting carbs every time I eat, and making sure I get some physical activity. All of that plays a really big part in management."

Marci Wright, a diabetes educator at Trinity Mother Frances teaches diabetics like Jackie survival skills to control their blood sugar. She can't stress enough how important it is to assess your risk, especially if you're overweight, don't exercise or have someone in your family with diabetes.

"Well, if it is caught early on and they receive treatment the risk of diabetes related complications to the heart, the eyes, the kidneys, the blood vessels and the nerves can be greatly reduced."

Jackie reminds, "I know that doing those little things everyday is going to keep me from experiencing the complications from diabetes in the long run."

Keeping diabetes in check is possible, but only if you know you have it and taking a simple risk test may be the key.

To take the diabetes risk test go to the "Know More on 7" icon on the home page. There, you'll find a link or you can call the Wisenbaker Diabetes center at 903-531-4848.

Dana Dixon Reporting.