Heart of the Valley: McAllen woman taking charge of her health following diabetes diagnosis

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A McAllen woman said she is thriving after taking charge of her health.

"I am 71 years old, and I am changing my life," Lupita Ovalle said. "I am better now than when I was 65."

Ovalle was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in February 2021 after a routine screening ordered by her doctor.

For a look at free diabetes screenings throughout the Valley during the month of April, visit our Heart of the Valley page.

She had experienced some symptoms, but had no idea why. 

"Before, because [I was] overweight, I was feeling without energy, trying to have an active life," Ovalle recalled. "But sometimes, I didn't even want to move from my chair."

Dr. Jeffrey Crespo, who specializes in family medicine and obesity at South Texas Health System, says those who are overweight should get routine blood work to check for type 2 diabetes.

"It will affect every organ system," Dr. Crespo said. "Being overweight or suffering from obesity will put you at risk for high blood pressure, it will put you at risk for diabetes." Dr. Crespo says losing weight can dramatically improve a person's health.

For people like Ovalle, the prognosis is good as long as she continues to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Ovalle is committed to staying healthy. She has lost a total of 90 pounds since learning she has type 2 diabetes.

"It's not easy," Ovalle said. "It's difficult in the beginning. But later on, you will see it is worth it, and you will start feeling good."

Watch the video above for the full story.


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