Undiagnosed cases of diabetes on the rise in East Texas

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Diabetes is a disease that many people across the nation battle every day.  In Texas there are about 1.8 million people who deal with the disease.

A new report out of Austin says one out of every 10 Texans has been diagnosed as diabetic. It is estimated that half a million Texans have the disease and don't even know it.

At the Polk Center in Lufkin, these statistics are not surprising.

"It's not a surprise. When you talk about people with diabetes and don't know it, you're talking about someone that has not been diagnosed. Most of those statistics we work with are diagnosed diabetes, so those numbers are pretty staggering," said Director of Clinical Nutrition for the Polk Center, Tim Scallon.

Scallon says these numbers are on par with what has happened in East Texas, and every year he has seen an increase in cases. It is something he says directly correlates with our lifestyle.

"If every day that I eat more than I am going to walk off, then I am going to gain weight and over the years that is what puts me at more of a risk for pre-diabetes and then diabetes," said Scallon.

Scallon also points out that the hardest part about realizing a person has diabetes is the symptoms are rarely noticeable.

"Diabetes is not so much associated with if we feel the symptoms; it's really more associated with our lifestyle. That will never go away unless I make some lifestyle change," said Scallon.

It is a change that includes healthier eating and exercise, even if it's as simple as moving around more at your house. Scallon says a blood test is the best way to tell if you might be pre diabetic or even diabetic and would recommend everyone have a blood test drawn.

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