Diabetes Facts and Statistics
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease where the body cannot properly produce or
use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that turns the foods you eat
into energy. If your body cannot turn food into energy, not only
will your cells be starved for energy, you will also build up
glucose (sugar) in your blood. This will lead you to have “high
blood glucose levels.” Over years, the high blood glucose level
can damage major organs like your heart, eyes, and kidneys.
According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 18.2
million people in the United States with Diabetes. That’s 6.3%
of the population.
Diabetes is found in both men and women over the age of 20.
About one-third of Diabetics do not know that they have it.
African Americans are 1.6 times more likely to have diabetes
than Whites. Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to have diabetes
Type 1 is most often found in children, with the peak incidence
at puberty. Type 2 is generally found in adults, however an
alarmingly growing number of children are now diagnosed with
type 2 Diabetes. One of the main causes is overweight.
1. Type 1 Diabetes is caused by a total lack of insulin that, in
turn, produces high blood glucose levels. Type 1 is most often
is seen in children, but can develop in adults. If you have Type
1, your health care provider might recommend scheduled,
nutritious meals, exercise, medication, and frequent blood sugar
2. Type 2 Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough
insulin or cannot properly use insulin. This is the most common
type. The treatment may be similar to Type 1.
3. Pre Diabetes or Borderline Diabetes may occur before a Type 2
diagnosis. Blood glucose levels will be higher than normal. Good
nutrition and exercise may be recommended by your health care
provider as treatment for pre diabetes. Even a slightly high
blood sugar level is insidious and could affect major organs
4. Gestational Diabetes occurs in pregnant women that have high
blood glucose levels. This type of Diabetes can harm both Mother
and baby. If you have Gestational Diabetes, your health care
provider may prescribe meal plans, exercise, daily testing and
The main symptom of diabetes is the lack of insulin activity or
the inability for the body to create insulin.
Other symptoms include:
1. increase in urine production
2. blurry vision
4. extreme hunger
5. excessive weight loss
6. increased fatigue
Causes and Risk Factors:
The exact causes of Diabetes are still unknown. However,
heredity, obesity and lack of exercise may play a role. Here are
some general risk factors:
1. Your siblings or parents have diabetes.
2. You are more than 20% overweight.
3. You do not exercise.
4. You have had gestational diabetes or you have had a baby over
5. You have high blood pressure.
6. Your cholesterol level is not normal.
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with
Diabetes have the same nutritional needs as everyone else. In
addition to prescribed medications, well-balanced meals may help
you keep your blood glucose level as normal as possible.
Also, just like everyone else, exercise is an important part of
staying healthy. Exercising with diabetes does require a few
extra safety steps that your health care professional can make
you aware of.
Nutritious meals, an exercise routine, along with the help of
your doctor may aid you in controlling your Diabetes. Diabetes
will never truly go away, but with proper nutrition, exercise
and prescribed medications, it can be controlled.
There is no cure for Diabetes, but the treatment options are
becoming better than they’ve ever been. Self-monitoring devices
for blood glucose levels and administering insulin are the areas
that have seen the most improvement. The following are a list of
new treatment options that are currently being researched:
1. Insulin Pump Implants – a permanently implanted pump that
will measure blood sugar levels and deliver the exact amount of
2. Insulin Capsule Implant – an insulin capsule that can be
implanted to continuously release insulin into the bloodstream.
3. Insulin Inhaler – a rapid-acting insulin that is inhaled
into the mouth. Currently in clinical trials.
4. Insulin Pill – Currently, the pill form has only been tested
5. Continuous Monitoring Device – The GlucoWatch Biographer, a
wristwatch-like device, has been approved by the FDA. It is
intended as a companion for the fingertip blood test to monitor
glucose, in order to ensure accurate results.
6. Islet Cell Transplant – For people with Type 1 Diabetes,
helps patients become insulin free for up to 14 months after
treatment. Currently in clinical trials.
7. Gene Therapy
8. A Diabetes Vaccine – To prevent or slow the progress of Type
Source by Renee Kennedy