Diabetes Education Program Teaches Empowerment

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WICHITA FALLS, TX - (KAUZ) - Health officials in Wichita County are working to help those living with type two diabetes better manage the disease, while still living fulfilling lives. 
     "You have control over this diagnosis, it does not have control over you," said Laci Edwards, Community Diabetes Education Program Administrator. 
      The Diabetes Empowerment Education Program also known as DEEP is the first of several programs surrounding diabetic education the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District will host for the next four years.
     "Through this we want to empower you, let you know that it's not the end of the world to have this diagnosis; it's nothing to be embarrassed about," Edwards said. 
     The first nine week program begins Thursday. Every Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. those in attendance will discuss a range of topics including risk factors, diabetes management through meal planning and the importance of physical activity. 
     "Diabetes effects everything, from your eyesight down to your toes. If your diabetes goes untreated or unmanaged it can cause health problems including visual and even hearing impairment," Edwards said.
     Every program will offer two English and two Spanish speaking courses. 
     For the DEEP program, the English speaking classes have been filled however there are still spots open in the Spanish speaking classes. 
     But if you were not able to get into the DEEP program, don't worry. Edwards said many other programs are going to be offered every month. 
     These free programs are being made possible by a grant given by the Texas Department of State Health Services. 
     Wichita Falls along with Houston, El Paso and Tyler were the only cities in the entire state awarded this grant. 
     "We have a registered dietician, so we can help you with your dietary needs and we have physical activities, so we have fitness instructors contracted to do 30 minutes of light activity to really help you manage the entire package that comes with diabetes," Edwards said. 
     If you're not comfortable signing up for the classes but would like more information, Edwards said there is a support group that anyone dealing with diabetes can join. 
     For more information on DEEP head to www.wichitafallstx.gov or call the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District at (940) 761-7800

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