FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Some say diabetes is reaching epidemic levels in Eastern Kentucky.
Recent health rankings show some Eastern Kentucky counties are most at risk, and health officials say there are several reasons for that.
Officials say the numbers speak for themselves.
Recently released by the Population Health Institute Floyd, Johnson, and Magoffin Counties rank some of the lowest in the commonwealth for overall health.
Members of a local group called the Tri-County Diabetes Partnership say those numbers mean diabetes is growing to epidemic levels.
"If you talk to anyone in Eastern Kentucky there's hardly a person that will not tell you they do not have a diabetic in their family, so we not only want to reach the adults but we want to reach the children as well," said Lora Hamilton, RN.
Officials say the numbers that stand out are those showing obesity is highest in our region, along with low physical activity and limited access to healthy foods.
Health officials say it is a combination of all of those factors like obesity and low physical activity that make Eastern Kentuckians some of the most at risk for diabetes.
They say the key is getting tested and knowing what you are up against.
"Diabetes affects you from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, and if you can control this then you can have good outcomes," said Hamilton.
They hope by educating the public they can slow the increase of the disease.
Officials say some warning signs of diabetes are frequently needing to use the bathroom and extra thirst.
They say if your family has a history of diabetes you should get checked regularly.