National Diabetes Awareness Month-The Orlando Times
The Types, The Stats, The Disparities
COMPILED BY JALESSA CASTILLO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Millions of people around the world live with diabetes or know someone living with diabetes. In fact, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. While the various types of diabetes aren’t yet curable, it is a very treatable disease. People with diabetes can live long, healthy, and happy lives.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day (WDD). President Ronald Reagan designated Diabetes Awareness Month for the first time in 1982. WDD was created in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes, becoming an official United Nations Day in 2006. It is marked every year on November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
The theme for World Diabetes Day 2019 is Family and Diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.
There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational.
Type 1 is not preventable and develops when the pancreas does not produce insulin. Patients need to take insulin injections for the rest of their life and they must ensure proper blood-glucose levels by carrying out regular blood tests and following a special diet.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), about 1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes and an estimated 40,000 people will be newly diagnosed each year in the U.S.
With Type 2 diabetes, blood glucose levels rise higher than normal (Hyperglycemia). Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, with approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide being type 2.
High blood sugar is called Hyperglycemia. This refers to when the body has too little insulin or when the body can't use insulin properly.
Low blood sugar is called Hypoglycemia. This is when your blood glucose levels have fallen low enough that you need to take action to bring them back to your target range.
“Eating well-balanced meals is an essential part of taking better care of yourself and managing diabetes,” said Kent Donahue, Public Information Officer at Florida Department of Health in Orange County. “So is regular physical activity, which is especially important for people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes. Balancing what you eat and your physical activity are key.”
The third type is Gestational diabetes. Usually around the 24th week of a pregnancy many women develop this form of the disease. This doesn't mean that she had diabetes before she conceived, or that she will have diabetes after giving birth. Women with gestational diabetes often have no symptoms, which is why it's important for at-risk women to be tested at the proper time during pregnancy and follow their doctor's advice.
In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes- with 84.1 million Americans age 18 and older having prediabetes. The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.2%, or 12.0 million seniors.
Additionally, Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 80,000 death certificates listed it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 252,806 death certificates listed diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death in 2015.
The rates of diagnosed diabetes in adults by race/ethnic background are: 7.4% of non-Hispanic whites, 8.0% of Asian Americans, 12.1% of Hispanics, 12.7% of non-Hispanic blacks, and 15.1% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives.
Compared to the general population, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes, they are 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
Diabetes is associated with an increased risk for a number of serious, sometimes life-threatening complications, and certain populations experience an even greater threat. Good diabetes management can help reduce your risk; however, many people are not even aware that they have diabetes until they develop one of its complications.
African-Americans are significantly more likely to suffer from blindness, kidney disease and amputations, related to Diabetes.
“There are a number of steps that anyone can take to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes,” said Matt Petersen, Managing Director of Medical Information, American Diabetes Association. “Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active — and the ADA recommends incorporating movement of some kind into your day every 30 minutes.”