Does Texas Have a Looming Diabetes Crisis?

Natives of the Lone Star State love indulging in BBQ sauce, corn dogs, Dr. Pepper, and ice cream. Texans are extremely friendly and know how to enjoy life. One thing they are passionate about is food, most importantly, junk food. But that habit is turning out to be a curse for the state’s residents. According to the American Diabetes Association, 12.3% of the adult Texan population is plagued by diabetes. Moreover, about 621,000 Texans did not know that they had this disease. Almost 34% of the population are prediabetic and have high blood glucose levels. The numbers highlight the importance of preventing and diagnosing diabetes in Texans. This blog will discuss the burden of diabetes for the people of Texas.

Diabetic Cases in Texas Are on the Rise

CBS reported that Marci Wright, a diabetes educator, has started to see Texan patients in their 20s. Due to their food habits, young adults are being diagnosed with diabetes. Marci has seen a significant rise in diabetic cases between the age of 19 to 44 over the last few years.

In the last 20 years, Marci has seen obesity cases double in Texas, which has led to an increase in diabetic patients. She states that family history and ethnicity are also leading causes of diabetes in Texans.

Many believe the American Diabetes Association should start screening Texas natives for diabetes at an early age rather than at 35.

Preventing Diabetes in Texans

To prevent this disease, overweight adults must lose at least 10% of their weight. It amounts to 15 to 20 pounds of weight loss. Texans should also change their diet and consume less refined sugar.

They can toss Dr. Pepper for some fresh homemade orange juice. Instead of ice cream, people from Texas can eat sugar-free frozen yogurt. They can even create homemade BBQ sauce instead of having store-bought ones that contain preservatives.

Marci says that portioning meals and adding more vegetables can help. Increasing physical activities can also help reduce the chance of diabetes. She asks everyone in Texas to walk for 10 minutes daily while watching TV.

Diabetes and Mental Health: A Leading Concern in Texas

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that diabetes can be linked to mental health issues. It usually happens due to the mind-body correlation. Diabetes distress can cause stress and anxiety in anyone.

About 43.4% of adult Texans are dealing with mental health issues, but 26.4% are not willing to seek therapy. That is why there is an increased need for a therapist in Texas. Right now, the state is going through a mental health crisis due to the shortage of professionals.

Ideally, mental health therapists will help natives manage stress, live life normally, and be on the right track. They will assist them with healthy living and support them through mental and physical change.

According to Zencare, therapists have specializations in treating emotional and mental health concerns. Hence, they can help diabetic Texans with depression, anxiety, and trauma-related issues.

Cost of Diabetes in Texas

Not everyone has the financial capability to afford treatment or medication. As of 2022, an average Texan earned about USD 31 thousand a year. But the overall cost of treating diabetes, estimated in 2017, was in billions.

Direct medical expenses for Texans were USD 18.9 billion combined. Moreover, there was an indirect cost of USD 6.7 billion.

According to a report by D Magazine, one vial of insulin costs over USD 200 to USD 400. Even though congressmen are trying to reduce the price, the annual medical cost for a diabetic Texan remains at USD 5,608 yearly.

In 2023, there was an investment of USD 15.9 million for diabetes research in Texas. Along with that, the CDC provided USD 1.4 million worth of grants for diabetes prevention and education in Texas.

Managing Diabetes in Texas

Texas ranks 31st in the country and has presented 2.8 million diabetic cases by 2022. About 11.5% of Texans have been told that they have diabetes.

In 2021, the diabetes mortality rate in Texas was 27.5%, with over 8,100 deaths. Hence, Texas natives need to manage this disease efficiently. For example, they should eat healthy food to regulate their blood glucose levels and avoid smoking to manage blood pressure.

Additionally, Texans can manage diabetes through the following:

  • Testing blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels regularly
  • Avoiding smoking or drinking while on medication
  • Following a diabetic meal plan provided by the nutritionist
  • Performing physical activities daily
  • Taking medications regularly and on time

Furthermore, people in Texas need to listen to their doctors and do as they say. They can pick up yoga lessons or other hobbies to keep themselves distracted. A diabetes education program will help manage stress.

The Bottom Line

One of the leading concerns in Texas is the development of diabetes. It can happen to anyone between the age of 19 to 60 without proper diet and exercise. Texans are known to love their sweet and spicy food items like BBQ sauce and Dr. Pepper.

However, such products are the leading cause of this disease. Diabetes comes with a plethora of negatives. For example, Texans can develop mental health issues and lose their life savings behind management.

To avoid getting diagnosed with diabetes, Texans can focus on eating healthy and exercising daily. However, diabetes can be hereditary, and doctors cannot do anything about it.

If diagnosed, one must perform regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks. Avoiding fatty and spicy food is important. Texans should stop smoking and take medications regularly.

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