Over the past two decades in the U.S., there has been a significant rise in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes, while millions of others are at risk of developing it. Here’s what the current statistics from the CDC look like:
- About 37 million people in the U.S are currently living with diabetes.
- Over a third of U.S adults are at risk of developing diabetes at some point in their lives (prediabetics).
- Medical costs for people who have diabetes are up to 3 times higher than those who don’t have diabetes.
- About 90-95% of cases have diabetes type 2, which can be prevented by awareness, early detection, and taking the right preventive measures.
Since November is American Diabetes Month®, our goal is to spread awareness around diabetes and help as many people manage and prevent diabetes as we can.
Read on to know more.
Basically, your body converts the food you eat into sugar to meet its energy needs. This sugar is then absorbed into your bloodstream to reach the target organs and provide energy.
As soon as your blood sugar peaks, it signals your pancreas to produce a special hormone called insulin that allows your body’s cells to take up the excess sugar.
With diabetes, your body either fails to produce enough insulin to take up all the excess sugar from the blood -or your cells stop responding to it.
As a result, your blood sugar stays persistently higher, leading to the development of diabetes and other health complications.
Types Of Diabetes
Diabetes is categorized into the following types:
Type 1 Diabetes
It occurs when your body produces insufficient or no insulin at all. It is relatively less common – about 5 – 10% of cases have Type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
It occurs when your body cells become resistant to the insulin produced by the pancreas (insulin resistance), leading to constantly high levels of blood sugar.
Gestational diabetes occurs only in pregnant women when their body cells fail to use insulin, effectively leading to insulin resistance. It affects about 2 to 10% of all pregnant women in the U.S.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Diabetes
It is believed that Type 1 Diabetes is rooted in a response to an autoimmune reaction in the body (when your immune cells start attacking your own body). However, the known risk factors include a family history of Type 1 diabetes and age – it usually develops in children, teenagers, and young adults.
On the other hand, there are a number of factors that can lead to Type 2 Diabetes and gestational diabetes, such as:
- A sedentary or inactive lifestyle
- Obesity and excessive weight gain
- History of gestational diabetes
- Family history of Type 2 diabetes
- Age – people who are 45 or older are at a higher risk
Symptoms Of Diabetes
The common signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can develop over a few weeks or months. However, the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes can take years to develop. Here are just a few of them:
- Frequent urination (even during night time)
- Constantly feeling thirsty or hungry
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling sensations in the hands and feet
- Dry and itchy skin
- Delayed healing (sores, wounds)
- Chronic fatigue
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?
Diabetes can be diagnosed easily via a few blood tests that detect your blood sugar level.
So, if you’re experiencing one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms or have one or more risk factors, we advise you to book an initial consultation with us.
Is Diabetes Preventable?
Luckily, Type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes can be prevented by taking a few preventive measures, such as:
- Losing weight to be within range of your ideal weight – and maintaining it
- Being physically active, particularly adding 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine
- Eating healthier food, with a diet rich in healthy fats
- Scheduling regular health checkups with your primary healthcare provider
Diabetes is a chronic illness that can affect the quality of your life, as well as lead to the development of other fatal health conditions. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to educate ourselves and others on how they can prevent it from occurring and how to manage the symptoms if you already have it.
We, at Mason Park Medical Clinic, urge you to schedule a routine checkup for you and your loved ones.
Book a consultation now to know more.