WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) – November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and one Mid-South health care provider is working to educate people in West Memphis about the disease.
“I found that there was a gap in health care, especially in this area, as far as with diabetes management,” said Nykkia Sellers, a nurse practitioner and the owner of Diabetes Care & Wellness in West Memphis.
Sellers is a certified diabetes care and education specialist; she says more than 37 million Americans live with diabetes.
After decades of working in family practice, Sellers opened her own office to specialize in diabetes care.
“We are in an area that has higher rates of diabetes and higher rates of uncontrolled complications,” she said. “So, we’re here to try to improve those complications [and] make sure that they’re receiving 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 the West Memphis population is Black, and that demographic is even more at risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes and having more serious complications than others.
“African Americans have more severe complications such as heart disease, which can lead to heart attack, heart failure, increased risk of strokes, and kidney disease, which can lead to people needing to have dialysis,” Sellers said.
She hopes to provide accessible healthcare options for West Memphians dealing with the disease, who, for the past few years, have had to travel to Memphis, Jonesboro, or even Little Rock for care.
“In this area, we need more people that are here that will help to improve these outcomes for people who are living with diabetes,” Sellers said.
She says preventative care and knowing your risk factors is essential.
“Risk factors include race (being African American); also, Native Americans and Hispanic Americans are at increased risk of diabetes if [they’re] obese or overweight,” she said.
World Diabetes Day is Monday, Nov. 14.
It was created in 1991 in response to the growing concerns about the disease.
Sellers says she is currently taking in new patients and wants to help her community live their most healthy lives possible.
Her office is located at 700 N. Missouri Suite 2, in West Memphis.
You can also reach her office at 870-551-4409.
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