Officials with the Texas Health Institute say by the year 2040, the number of adult Texans with diabetes will quadruple. Today, more than 2 million Texans and 1 in 10 adults in Smith County have the disease. That number is expected to jump 259 percent in the next thirty years.
Chris Dyer's life was changed in 2004 when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. "It's a horrible thing that can happen to people," Dyers says. "I did not believe it could happen to me." Dyer, who says he takes 20 pills and two injections every day, says people often bring diabetes upon themselves. "We don't eat the right things, and we eat too many sweets. We really don't listen to what our doctors tell us...but I do now."
Six years after he was diagnosed and 120 pounds lighter, Dyer begs people to learn from his story. "I wish i could save one person from the trouble that you're going to go through if you get this type two. It's not good. It's not fun," he says.
Dr. David Shafer with UT Health Center says the diabetes increase is because Texas has one of the fastest growing obesity rates in the country. "It's unfortunately an accurate prediction, it may even be an underestimate. The most important thing people could do to prevent that increase in diabetes would be for people not to gain weight," he says.
Dr. shafer says another contribution for the growing diabetes rates in Texas: the Hispanic population. He says Hispanics are more at risk for the disease simply because of their genetics.