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Monthly Health Topics
November is American Diabetes Month!
Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal.This is also called hyperglycemia.When you eat, your body breaks food down into glucose and sends it into the blood. Insulin then helps move the glucose from the blood into your cells. When glucose enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use. In a person with diabetes, there is a problem with insulin. But, not everyone with diabetes has the sameproblem.There are different types of diabetes – type 1, type 2, and a condition called gestational diabetes. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin, can’t use insulin it does make well, or both. Diabetes may be treated with insulin, oral medications, exercise, and meal planning. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to several complications, such as nerve damage, kidney or eye problems, heart disease, and stroke. But, if managed well, you can live a long, healthy life with diabetes.
- Diabetes affects nearly 30 million children and adults in the U.S. today—nearly 10 percent of the population.
- Another 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
- Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes by 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes®.
- Every 19 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes.
- African Americans and Hispanics are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.
- Diabetes nearly doubles the risk for heart attack and for death from heart disease.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among working-age adults.
- The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.
- Roughly 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction and other nerve problems.
- The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. is $245 billion.
- Direct medical costs reach $176 billion and the average medical expenditure among people with diabetes is more than two times higher than those without the disease.
- Indirect costs amount to $69 billion (disability, work loss, premature mortality).
- 1 in 10 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and its complications.
- 1 in 5 health care dollars is spent caring for people with diabetes.
To manage diabetes, you will work with your health care team to make a plan that helps you reach your goals. Together, you’ll keep track of the ABCs of diabetes:
A is for A1C: Your A1C check tells you your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months. It’s the blood check “with a memory.”
B is for blood pressure: Your blood pressure numbers tell you the force of blood inside your blood vessels. When your blood pressure is high, your heart has to work harder.
C is for cholesterol: Your cholesterol numbers tell you about the amount of fat in your blood. Some kinds, like HDL cholesterol, help protect your heart. Others, like LDL cholesterol, can clog your blood vessels and lead to heart disease. Triglycerides are another kind of blood fat that raises your risk for a heart attack or stroke.