WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) — November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and a MidSouth healthcare provider is working to educate people in West Memphis about the disease.
“I’ve realized that there is a gap in healthcare, particularly in this area, as far as diabetes management is concerned,” said Nykkia Sellers, a registered nurse and owner of Diabetes Care & Wellness in West Memphis.
Sellers is a certified specialist in diabetes care and education; She says more than 37 million Americans are living with diabetes.
After working in family medicine for decades, Sellers opened her own practice to specialize in the treatment of diabetes.
“We’re in an area with higher rates of diabetes and higher rates of uncontrolled complications,” she said. “So we’re here to try and improve on those complications [and] Make sure they get the proper care.”
Sellers says that 90% to 95% of people with diabetes have type 2 as opposed to type 1.
More than half of West Memphis’ population is black, and this demographic is at even greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and experiencing more serious complications than others.
“African Americans have more serious complications, such as heart disease, which can lead to heart attack, heart failure, increased risk of stroke, and kidney disease, which can result in people needing dialysis,” Sellers said.
She hopes to provide accessible health care options to West Memphians struggling with the disease, who in recent years have had to travel to Memphis, Jonesboro or even Little Rock for care.
“We need more people in this space to help improve these outcomes for people with diabetes,” Sellers said.
She says taking preventative measures and knowing your risk factors are essential.
“Risk factors include race (being African American); Native Americans and Hispanics are also at an increased risk of diabetes if [they’re] obese or overweight,” she said.
World Diabetes Day is Monday November 14th.
It was formed in 1991 in response to growing concerns about the disease.
Sellers says she is currently accepting new patients and wants to help her community live as healthy lives as possible.
Her office is at 700 N. Missouri Suite 2, in West Memphis.
You can also reach their office at 870-551-4409.
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