Colourful background from various herbs and spices for cooking in bowls

Louraiseal McDonald is Family Community Health Specialist for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service. She can be reached via email at ldmcdonald@ag.tamu.edu or via phone at (903) 935-8414.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Angelina, Harrison, Rusk and Shelby Counties have partnered together to offer a comprehensive diabetes education class, “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes”, every Thursday, starting April 8 through May 6. Each class will promptly begin at 10 a.m. There is not a registration fee thanks to a grant.

To register click on this link: bit.ly/DWBW21. Even if class attendees miss a class, a recording of the class can be provided. Registration for the class can take place at any time.

The topics to be covered are as follows:

  • Characteristics of Type 2 diabetes
  • Recommended blood sugar ranges
  • Managing diabetes with nutrition
  • Managing blood sugar medications
  • How to read and utilize nutrition labels
  • Exercise and diabetes
  • Dining out and keep diabetes under control
  • Prevent and manage diabetes complications (including feet problems)
  • Resources for caring for diabetes
  • Planned meals using the carbohydrate counting method

Diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or the insulin it makes does not work properly. While this chronic illness is not curable; it is manageable.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) National Diabetes Statistics Report, approximately 29.1 million (9.3 percent) people in the United States have diabetes with 8.1 million (27.8 percent) of those people being undiagnosed. Similarly in Texas, approximately 2.33 million (11.2 percent) adults have diabetes with 621,000 of those being undiagnosed, which significantly increases their health risks. Another 7.14 million people have prediabetes, with blood glucose levels above the normal range but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, in Harrison County the adult diabetes prevalence rate has steadily increased: 6.9 percent in 2008, 9.8percent in 2009, 11.3 percent in 2010, 11.7 percent in 2013 and 13 percent in 2018. In 2019, the Center for Disease Control reported the diabetes prevalence rate: 8.5 percent adults in the U.S., 10percent adults in the state of Texas and 15 percent in Harrison County. This reliable source also reported total cardiovascular disease deaths per 10, 000 population (which includes coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, cardiac dysrhythmia, hypertension and all strokes) 42.2 in the U.S., 43.4 in Texas and 51.3 in Harrison County.

If you or a love one has diabetes or have a high risk of developing diabetes and you want to learn more how this chronic illness can be managed through nutrition and self-care, Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes is the perfect five-week diabetes education program for you.

You do not want to miss the very first speaker, Renae Smith, RN, CDE. She is located here in Marshall and works for Genesis Prime Care. She will kick the series off by sharing how food affects your blood sugar levels.

For more information, contact Louraiseal McDonald, CEA-FCH at 903-935-8414 or ldmcdonald@ag.tamu.edu.

Recommended For You


Louraiseal McDonald is Family Community Health Specialist for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service. She can be reached via email at ldmcdonald@ag.tamu.edu or via phone at (903) 935-8414.