Mercy Miami Hospital - December 19, 2017

Approximately 30 million people in America have diabetes (1 out of every 10 people), and about another 84 million have prediabetes (1 out of 3 adults). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that of those with prediabetes, 90% don’t know they have it! The following CDC prediabetes snapshot states that up to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.

A Snapshot: Diabetes in The United States1

Diabetes

  • 30.3 Million people have diabetes – 1 out of 4 don’t know they have diabetes

Prediabetes

  • 84.1 Million people have prediabetes – 9 out of 10 don’t know they have prediabetes
  • If you have prediabetes, you can lose weight and cut your risk of getting type 2 diabetes in half by eating healthy and being more active

Cost

  • $245 Billion - Total medical costs and lost work and wages for people with diagnosed diabetes
  • The risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50% higher than for adults without diabetes
  • Medical costs for people with diabetes are more than twice as high as for people without diabetes

Risk Factors

  • People with diabetes are at higher risk of serious health complications:
    • Blindness
    • Kidney Failure
    • Heart Disease
    • Stroke
    • Loss of toes, feet, or legs

Diabetes Types

Type 1 – The body doesn’t make enough insulin

  • Can develop at any age
  • No known way to prevent it
  • Nearly 18,000 youth diagnosed each year in 2011 and 2012
  • In adults, type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 5% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes

Type 2 – The body can’t use insulin properly

  • Can develop at any age
  • Most cases can be prevented
  • In adults, type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes
  • More than 5,000 youth diagnosed each year in 2011 and 2012
  • 1.5 Million people 18 years and older diagnosed in 2015
  • Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:
    • Being overweight
    • Having a family history
    • Being physically inactive
    • Being 45 and older

What Can You Do?

Like so many other health problems, diabetes is best treated – and may even be reversible – when it’s caught early. You can prevent, delay and manage type 2 diabetes by:

  • Losing weight (if needed)
  • Eat healthy
  • Be more active
  • Working with a health professional

Here are some of the most common warning signs of the disease to watch out for:

Frequent urination
When you have diabetes, excess glucose builds up in the blood. This causes your kidneys to work harder to filter out the extra sugar, which is carried out of your body through urine. With more sugar to get rid of, the body will produce more urine -- and your bathroom trips will increase.

Increased thirst
Can’t seem to drink enough to quench your thirst? See your doctor. The frequent urination that accompanies type 2 diabetes can cause dehydration. What’s more, all that sugar in the bloodstream pull fluids from your tissues, drying you out even more.

Increased hunger
When you have type 2 diabetes, your cells are starved for sugar because it’s stuck in the bloodstream. As a result, cells send out the signal: We’re hungry! Your brain is tricked into eating more.

Weight loss
Some people with type 2 diabetes may experience sudden, unexplained weight loss. That’s because some of the sugar from the food you eat is excreted in the urine, so the calories never “count."

Blurred vision
Excess sugar in the blood pulls fluids from your tissues, including the lenses of your eyes. This can blur your vision. High blood sugar can also damage blood vessels in the retina, causing diabetic retinopathy.

Weakness and fatigue
The dehydration caused by frequent urination and the lack of sugar in the body’s cells can add up to feeling weak and tired.

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away for blood tests and an accurate diagnosis. If you have diabetes and don’t know it, the disease could be causing silent damage. If you do have diabetes, appropriate treatment can get it under control.

Talk to your doctor to prevent or manage your diabetes symptoms and get advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels under control.

References:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Disclaimer

Content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.