By Geena Martinez
MIDLAND - Right now one in 10 people have diabetes, but according to a report just released by the Centers for Disease Control, by 2050, one in three people will be diagnosed with it.
It's only a 12-month program but Janie Garms said it can lead to life long rewards. The Diabetes Center at Medical Center Hospital is helping patients make better choices now to lead a healthier and possibly even longer life.
The Center was developed to assist patients in self-managing their diabetes.
The Center also offers education and resources about diabetes as well as support groups to help more than 550 patients a year get through any roadblocks that might get in the way of self-management.
"What we want to do is help the patient to decide or make good decisions about lifestyle changes that will impact their diabetes in a healthy way," Garms said.
Monthly classes are also held at the hospital where nurses and dieticians teach about everything from keeping a healthy weight to properly using an insulin pump. They're even offering cooking lessons for the diabetic diet.
Garms said diabetes will have a big effect on the aging population and minorities.
Hispanics and African-Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and Garms says the CDC's report is a very accurate projection.
"Those populations are growing. The aging population is growing and the population all together is growing," Garms said. "So taking into account all of those factors, diabetes will be a more prevalent disease in the future."
Although more people are living longer with diabetes, it can still lead to other complications if not managed carefully.
"The truth of the matter is heart disease is our number one killer," Garms said. "But diabetes is one of the highest contributing factors to the development of heart disease."
With the help of the Center, Garms hopes that's something they can prevent from happening.