SPRINGDALE (KFSM) - On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. experts with the American Diabetes Association had over 100 booths set up for people to get information about diabetes and how to manage the disease.
According to the latest statistics from the ADA, 48,000 people in Northwest Arkansas are living with the disease. In the state of Arkansas, that number rises to 250,000. Organizers said around 1,000 people come to the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center every year. The diabetes expo has been going on since 2007.
Board member Deryn Young said there were plenty of vendors showing diabetics ways to cope with their disease.
"The venders are supplying a lot of products like socks, glycerna, bananas from Walmart...a lot of products that would help if you had diabetes to monitor your glucose and keep it stable," Young said.
Young was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 41 years old. Nurse Gloria Carrington is a Certified Diabetes Educator and said Type 1 diabetes is when a person's pancreas stops producing insulin. She said Type 2 diabetes happens when the body makes insulin, but their insulin doesn't work well.
Carrington said Saturday that the most asked question from diabetics was how to maintain their diet.
"It is very difficult," Carrington said, "Because you don't know what you can eat."
She said diabetics are free to eat proteins and most vegetables except corn, peas, beans and potatoes. She said people with diabetes must ration the amount of fruit, grains and milk they consume because they are high in carbohydrates. Carrington said exercise is just as important as a healthy diet.
"Exercise helps their cells recognize the insulin, so we want them to exercise 30 minutes a day," Carrington said.
The next American Diabetes Association expo will be in August of 2015. The next event for the group will be the Tour de Cure at Arvest Ballpark on October 4. Organizers said the event costs $15 to register, and people can sign up for a 100 mile, 50 mile or 25 mile bike ride, or a 5K family fun walk.