Nacogdoches antique dealer's sudden onset of diabetes points to need for awareness

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - For years, Nacogdoches antique dealer Ken Wood got the warnings about his risk for diabetes.

"I go yearly to my heart doctor, and I do blood tests, and he's been saying you're borderline; you need to watch it," Wood said. "And the last time I went, he said, you're diabetic."

So, at 79, Wood made a lifestyle change.

"I don't eat bread. I don't eat sweets," Wood said. "Maybe once a week, I'll cheat a little bit and have something sweet, but it hasn't bothered me that much."

An outreach dietician helps out a lot. Wood was directed to green vegetables and fruit, but was never told to cut out completely the foods he enjoys eating.

"It's all about balance and portion control is really the key especially when it comes to high carbohydrate foods, so you can still enjoy the high-carbohydrate foods that you love as long as it's in moderation," said Marti Rodriguez, an outreach dietician with Nacogdoches County Memorial Hospital.

The American Diabetes Association reports for those over age 60, almost 1 in 4 have diabetes. Wood controls his health with diet and medications.

"And I've eaten, so I will be taking these shortly," Wood said.

And attitude.

"It's a mindset, you have to set your mindset to the fact that now you have diabetes and now is the time to take care of yourself," Wood said.

Consequently, Wood isn't missing a note to living life to its fullest.

"This is over a 100 years old and still plays," Wood said. "I tell them when I get to be 100, I hope I'm in as good condition as this."

You can learn a lot more about diabetes during diabetic awareness month.

Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital is hosting a luncheon and lecture on "diabetes and kidney disease: what you need to know to keep your kidneys healthy."

The free community event is Thursday at noon at the Bright Pavilion in the Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.

Then a week from today, a free health screening will take place at the Nacogdoches Public Library from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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