Every 21 seconds, another person in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes. While this disease is something that can be lived with if managed properly, the complications that arise from it can be deadly.
Christine Meaux is now a crusader for her health, after years of putting herself on the back burner as a single mom. "I wasn't eating right for one and I wasn't very active at the time," she said.
Last November, Christine started feeling off and knew there was a deeper problem. "I had headaches, just didn't have any energy," she said, "I was going to the bathroom a lot."
Those are the symptoms of someone with Type II diabetes - a diagnosis that Christine got last fall and a diagnosis that has become an epidemic in the United States. Dr. Mohammad Jadoon with Lake Area Internal Medicine sees the scary trend first-hand. "One-third of the American population is diabetic right now and about 79 million people are pre-diabetic," he said.
Diabetes management is critical to keeping patients alive and healthy and that includes annual eye exams, foot exams and knowing your numbers. "Check your blood sugar frequently, follow your HbA1c," said Dr. Jadoon, "make sure your cholesterol is under control and so is your blood pressure."
Christine is now exercising, eating better and monitoring her sugar intake every day. The result is a 20 pound weight loss and a new outlook. "When you lose weight when you have diabetes, you start to realize your energy level goes up, you feel so much better and it's just such a better feeling," she said.
While medications are part of Christine's routine today, her hope is that with diet and exercise, she can reverse her Type II diabetes and one day be in the clear. "It will be wonderful to get back to where I was," she said, "maybe even where I was in high school. That's my goal, but we'll just have to see what the future holds."
Type I diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes. It is a chronic disease that will always require insulin therapy.