Many people have learned the facts about dealing with diabetes as a lifelong disease, but for Kathy Daniels and many others, it's something they never thought they'd need to know.
"I just found out probably about two months ago that I was diabetic and knew nothing about it because I'm the first one on both sides of my family to have diabetes," Daniels said.
So to help, Kathy attend Dining with Diabetes at the WVU Extension Office in Elkins. Dietician Eloise Hollen spoke to the class for its first session, and she said a lot can be done to manage the disease just by being aware of what you eat.
"Overall it really is just based on eating healthy, most likely looking at portion sizes, eating a little bit smaller and moving a little bit more," Hollen said.
And while diet is the focus of the class, exercise is another big factor. So organizers include 10 minutes of physical activity with each class. Hollen said taking responsibility for your own diet and exercise plan is a big part of fighting the disease.
"Whether you're eating or exercising or whatever you're doing, if you have diabetes you have to be thinking about it. And so it truly is a self-management disease," Hollen said.
Although diabetes can have serious consequences, Daniels is looking forward to learning about her food options as the class continues, and she said it helps to put her mind at ease.
"My main thing was being afraid. Worst case scenario, you hear all these bad things, and it was good to hear that that does not have to happen," Daniels said.