The numbers are staggering.
Millions of people – around the world – are living with diabetes.
Let me show you how deadly serious diabetes management is…
- In the United States, 25.8 million people (8.3% of the population) have diabetes and 79 million people have prediabetes.
- In Canada, 2.4 million people (6.8% of the population) have diabetes.
- In the United Kingdom, 2.9 million people (4.6% of the population) have been diagnosed with diabetes with an estimated 850,000 people who have diabetes, but haven’t been diagnosed.
Astonishing, isn’t it?
And these numbers are growing at an alarming rate.
People don’t know the types of diabetes, symptoms, risk factors, prediabetes, prevention methods and diabetes management.
You’ll want to read and share this…
What is Diabetes
Diabetes is chronic condition that occurs when the body’s pancreas can’t produce insulin – a hormone that helps glucose (sugar) enter cells which is then used as energy.
Glucose is extracted from carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, pasta, fruit etc. and is also produced by the liver.
There are two main Types of diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes: Usually occurs in people younger than 40 (especially children) and is a result in the destruction of the body’s insulin-producing cells. This means the body can’t produce insulin or convert glucose to energy. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 to 15 percent of all diabetes cases. Daily insulin injections are typically the treatment.
Type 2 Diabetes: Occurs when the body produces insulin but it’s an insufficient amount or the body resists it (aka insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes accounts for 85 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases.
If glucose can’t be absorbed by the body’s cells – and remains in the blood stream – the body will try to flush it out.
- Urinating more than usual, especially at night
- Feeling thirsty and/or tired
- Losing weight for no reason
- Itchy genitals
- Delayed heal of cuts and wounds
- Blurred vision
These symptoms are very apparent in Type 1 diabetes. However, in Type 2 diabetes, the symptoms may take time to surface and be diagnosed.
Some factors of diabetes are out of your control, but others you can change.
You’re at risk if you’re:
- Over 40 and white
- Black, Asian or over 25 and from a minority group
- Related to a close family with Type 2 diabetes
- Overweight. If you’re a female with a waist line of 31.5+ inches, Asian male with a 35+ waist line or white or black male with a 37+ waist line.
- Blood pressure is above normal.
- A heart attack or stroke victim
- Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and/or impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
These are the main risk factors for diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association offers an online diabetes risk test. Some of the questions include your age, sex, family history, race, blood pressure, activity levels and height and weight.
Prediabetes (aka Borderline Diabetes)
Prediabetes is when the blood glucose levels are above normal, but below the diabetes level.
People who are prediabetic have a high risk of getting Type 2 diabetes and having heart disease.
Prediabetes is also called:
- Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)
- Impaired fasting glucose (IFG)
- Impaired glucose regulation (IGR)
- Non-diabetic hyperglycaemia (NDH)
To determine if you have prediabetes, a doctor will administer a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test or the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
Diabetes Management and Healthy Living
In some cases, you can prevent prediabetes and diabetes though healthy living by:
- Lowering your cholesterol.
- Eating healthy.
- Managing your blood glucose (sugar).
- Reducing blood pressure.
- Reducing excess weight.
- Being physically active.
- Quitting smoking.
Image Credit: adria.richards
Being Diagnosed & Care
Discovering you have diabetes can be challenging, but it’s the first step to feeling better and living healthier.
- Type 1 the pancreas can’t produce insulin.
- Type 2 the body produces insulin but it’s an insufficient amount or the body resists it.
Medication, such as insulin injections, might be required blood glucose levels can’t be managed with a healthy diet and exercise.
For Type 1 diabetes, insulin shots are required – as the body can’t produce insulin – and insulin can’t be digested in the form of a pill.
For Type 2 diabetes, a healthy diet and exercise can help manage the blood glucose levels. Pills work for some cases, but not all. Insulin injections might be required.
The A1C test is given at least twice a year and measures the average blood glucose levels over the 2 to 3 months. It’s an excellent indicator of how you’re doing overall and not just at one given point of the day.
Blood glucose meters test your blood glucose levels at one point in time. They require a drop of blood that’s taken from the finger using a lancing device. Keep in mind, not all diabetes patients are required to check their own levels.
Your doctor will help you determine the best method of managing your blood glucose levels and injections (if needed).
- In the United States, 25.8 million people (8.3% of the population) have diabetes and 79 million people have prediabetes. Data as of January 2011: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/
- In Canada, 2.4 million people (6.8% of the population) have diabetes. Data as of 2008-2009: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
- In the United Kingdom, 2.9 million people (4.6% of the population) have been diagnosed with diabetes with an estimated 850,000 people who have diabetes, but haven’t been diagnosed. Data as of April 2012: http://www.diabetes.org.uk
Featured Image Credit: heather aitken