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Diabetes in Louisiana: Tips on Prevention

Tuesday March 26 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a time to put a spotlight on the risks and prevention.

Here in Southern Louisiana we love us a good meal and the Wellness and Diabetes Clinic at Lafayette General says that is part of the reason why the state’s diabetes numbers are so high.

“The barbecue, the crawfish boils, the boucheries, it’s all of that good stuff and if we don’t think about it we indulge.” But since 2007, Joyce Batiste has forced herself to think about it. All thanks to her diagnosis of type two diabetes.

“I’m constantly thinking what could I have done better to prevent it, what can I do to prevent it in the future so I don’t have to come back here and dread what the doctor is telling me.”

Christine Castille FNP, BC-ADM, CDE of Lafayette General’s Wellness and Diabetes Clinic says Batiste is one of many in Louisiana. “The people who have diabetes, it’s over 450,000 and according to the American Diabetes Association that’s filling up (Louisiana State University) Tiger Stadium four times over.”

Then there’s the people at risk who could have diabetes three to five years down the line or sooner; those numbers are even higher.

“Get a visual of the last time you went to a Saints game and you sat in the stadium. People who have prediabetes or are at risk of diabetes, they’re literally 1.27 million so that would be filling the stadium over 16 times.”

That’s where prevention comes in. The Wellness and Diabetes Clinic suggests focusing on physical activity, stress management and eating habits. Castille says, “Still go to the crawfish boil and have fun, but instead of filling up on your potatoes and corn you may order onions along with mushrooms.”

To see if you’re at risk take an assessment here.