Health officials spread awareness for diabetes

It's National Diabetes Awareness Month and the Benton-Franklin Health District is trying to educate people to get checked.

For more than ten years Gloria Cervantes has been living with type two diabetes.

Every day her responsibilities are A constant reminder.

"Counting carbs and counting the sugars, looking at labels, reading labels all the time," said Cervantes.

Type two diabetes is a metabolic disease in which people experience high blood sugars, are resistant to insulin or don't produce enough.

A nutrionist at the Benton-Franklin Health District said the numbers are alarming.

"One in every four people have diabetes, but they are unaware that they have diabetes," said Laili Abd Latif, a nutritionist for the BFHD.

Some refuse to believe it.

"I was in complete denial so I didn't really take good care of myself," said Cervantes.

However that was years ago, now Cervantes keeps a balanced diet and exercises regularly.

"I do a lot of dancing," she said.

Weight can be an important variable.

"I got to be very obese," said Rosie Tobias, she's had type 2 diabetes for about 15 years. "Made me change my eating habits and be more conscious about my health."

Typically adults age 45 and older are more likely to get diabetes, but Latif said that's changing.

"With the obesity rate going up we are seeing a lot of younger generations getting diabetes too," said Latif.

She said prevention is key.

Cervantes said many people are at risk, even if they don't think so.

"People say no I'm not going to get it, they are in denial," she said. "Better check it, because you're going to be doing the same thing I'm doing."

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