MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The American Diabetes Association reports 14.1% of the adult population in South Carolina have been diagnosed with diabetes, and 28,000 people are diagnosed yearly in the Palmetto State.
Kristi Falk has type 1 diabetes and founded the Diabetes Wellness Council in Carolina Forest to focus on diabetes education, and helping people learn to manage their health.
Falk says if diabetes is not managed well, it can be dangerous with complications like blindness, nerve damage and strokes.
She encourages those diagnosed with diabetes to be their own health advocates.
“Communicating with your doctor, asking questions and checking your blood sugar,” Falk says. “If you are diabetic, you need to know where your numbers are and how different things affect you because you honestly don’t know if your medication is working unless you’re testing.”
Falk recently met with Governor Henry McMaster where he signed a proclamation declaring November 14th World Diabetes Day in South Carolina. Mayor Brenda Bethune signed a similar proclamation in the City of Myrtle Beach.
The Diabetes Wellness Council works to help people understand the best ways to monitor their blood sugar and lead healthier lives through healthy eating and activity.
Falk tells News13, the largest misconception people have about diabetes is thinking they are not at risk.
“There are actually risk assessments you can take to see if you are at risk for developing type two diabetes,” Falk said. “Things like gender, age, weight; all of those things can have a risk factor.”
To learn more about the Diabetes Wellness Council, click here.