COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Johnnie Floyd has lived in the Midlands all of his life. She enjoys traveling, reading and spending time in her garden.
She is also diabetic.
“1978, when I got pregnant with my first child, it was a very exciting time and I found out that I was a gestational diabetic,” said Floyd.
For a short time, Johnnie’s blood sugar returned to normal, but returned to high during her second pregnancy.
After a few more regular check-ups with her doctor, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
“I was really sad and got a little depressed because I knew I was going to have to make some huge lifestyle changes.”
But she found the strength to act and began taking a diabetes education course that her doctor referred her to.
She says she was able to discover new ways to monitor her blood sugar.
“I can pick up my phone anytime because I have an app that will show me what my blood sugar is.”
Today, 14 years later, Johnnie is still taking steps to educate himself and educate the community.
Dr Venkata Sai Bhavana Chinnakotla specializes in diabetes care at Lexington Endocrinology. She says diabetes diagnoses are on the rise. In fact, 1 in 8 adults in South Carolina are diagnosed with diabetes. “
“Coming to South Carolina in particular may be because there is a lack of education. Our diets, much of our diets are traditional, based in the south, and as we get older this is not the best, especially when we know we are at risk for diabetes due to genetics. », Explains Chinnakotla.
According to DHEC, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year.
One in four people over the age of 65 has diabetes in South Carolina and it is the 7th leading cause of death in the state and 8th in diabetes diagnoses across the country.
But few diabetics take advantage of resources like workshops and classes, which Johnnie says has dispelled a lot of misconceptions for her.
“I learned that you really shouldn’t deprive yourself of everything. I’m just changing my eating habits. I used to eat three or four donuts. You can have, you know if you just want something. Moderation is a big key, ”says Floyd.
“Make changes to our way of life. Which includes, cutting back on portions, cutting down on high carbohydrate foods, making physical activity part of our daily routine, and trying to lose weight in a healthy way and make it a permanent lifestyle change will all lead to the reversal of prediabetes. or sometimes even Diabetes. “
Johnnie says the staff she worked with at Lexington Medical Center went above and beyond.
She says they’ll help you with your meal plans, go grocery shopping with you, and even help you decide which meals to cook.
She says diabetes hasn’t stopped her from doing what she loves and is focusing more on life’s possibilities.
“I can do whatever I want. I might have to adjust it a bit, but it’s not like a sentence tells you you can’t do this, you can’t have that. In fact, the more you do, the better you help your diabetes.
To learn more about diabetes education classes at Lexington Medical Center, call 803-739-3740.
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