According to the Assistant Health Director with the Port Arthur Health Department, one in three people in southeast Texas have pre-diabetes or full blown diabetes. Rosaland Shelton has been living with diabetes for 7 years and says she was in denial when doctors diagnosed her.

Shelton says it's been a struggle at times to maintain her diabetes but now feels she has it under control. The Assistant Health Director, LaTasha Mayon, for the Port Arthur Health Department says diabetes affects one in three in Southeast Texas. For Mayon this hits close to home. Sadly her younger sister passed away from the disease.

According to the American Association for Diabetes Educators, over 30 million people are living with diabetes. The CDC says nearly 1 in 4 four adults living with diabetes didn't know they had the condition.

Mayon says diet and exercise play a major role in maintaining the disease. Also, cut back on sugar and starchy foods.

For Shelton this has been a major lifestyle change but one she feels she is now under control. She wishes she would have listened to her doctors when she was first diagnosed and feels it is a lesson she learned. One she is hoping to teach others.

"If they tell you, you are a pre-diabetic or diabetic, take it seriously because I didn't."

Each Tuesday the Port Arthur Health Department offers a free diabetic education class. The class runs from noon to 1 p.m. The Health Department is located at 449 Austin Ave. Just go to the second floor conference room.

There are 4 types of diabetes:
Type I— insulin dependent treated with long-acting and
Type II—non-insulin dependent that can be managed through diet and exercise.

Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women. This type, if maintained, will goa way a few months after birth.

Juvenile onset diabetes affects children.