November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is raising awareness about the diabetes epidemic in the community.
According to Julius Hunter with Metro Health, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in San Antonio, with higher prevalence rates on the west, east, and south sides of the city. Alarmingly, 20% of people with diabetes in the area are undiagnosed.
It is crucial for individuals to get their numbers checked and seek medical help to manage and prevent the disease, Hunter said.
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a combination of genetics and environment and cannot be prevented. It affects around 5 to 10% of people with diabetes and requires insulin treatment.
The majority of people, 90 to 95%, have type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes. These changes include eating better, increasing physical activity, and gaining knowledge about the disease. Hunter said it is important to consult with a doctor to create an individualized plan.
To provide support and education, the City of San Antonio is hosting its third annual diabetes health fair on November 15th. The event will take place at West End Park and will offer free turkey vouchers, provided by H-E-B, to attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. The fair aims to create a social support system for individuals looking to make lifestyle changes and prevent diabetes.
If unable to attend the event, the city’s Mental Health Diabetes Prevention and Control Program offers no-cost workshops and resources. Interested individuals can visit DiabetesHelpSA.com for more information.