November is American Diabetes Month

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 11/30/2016 9:17 AM by Interim HealthCare
Did you know that 1 in 11 Americans today has diabetes? Despite its prevalence, diabetes is an invisible disease. It affects men and women, people young and old, and people of all races, shapes and sizes. Often there are no outward signs from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day. That’s why there is a critical need to foster awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many of us.
 
Every 23 seconds, someone in the US is diagnosed with Diabetes. 86 million Americans are at risk for developing diabetes and most do not know it. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US, killing more Americans than AIDS and Breast cancer combined.
 
Diabetes is more than the medications and devices used to manage it. For many, diabetes dictates how they organize their day, what they eat at every meal, how they choose to be physically active and how they spend their money. People with diabetes may experience increased complications after surgery, or have very slow healing. They can have health care costs that are 2.3 times higher than someone without diabetes, as type 1 and type 2 require very specific forms of treatment.
 
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and there is no known way to prevent it. Approximately 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, which means their body does not produce any insulin. Insulin is critical in order for the body to transport glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into cells for energy. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to live.
 
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of cases in the United States. It develops when the body does not produce or use insulin properly. Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes and having diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes). Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose (sugar) with healthy eating and being active; other may require oral medications or insulin, especially as the disease progresses. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as older adults.
 
Some women develop gestational diabetes, high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy, which requires treatment to protect the health of the mother and the baby. Gestational diabetes affects approximately 9.2 percent of pregnant women. In some cases, the disease goes away once the baby is born, but more and more women experience high blood sugar levels requiring treatment long after the birth.
 
There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed. Balancing the food, you eat with exercise and medicine (if prescribed) will help you control your weight and can keep your blood glucose in the healthy range.
 
This can help prevent or delay complications. Many people with diabetes live long and healthful lives. With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications. 

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