Thursday, April 18 2024 - 3:30 AM
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Another Look at Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States. Currently, it is at number seven. This is not news, but what is alarming is that it is continually on the rise. In 2015, the CDC reported that over 30.3 million U.S. citizens have diabetes, and 84.4 million have prediabetes. In total, more than 100 million Americans, or about a third of the population, are wrestling with this devastating disease. Or they may be wrestling with this disease in about five years.1  What is more alarming, the latter group may not know they are prediabetic.

Increasing Risk for Younger Population

And if this isn’t enough, we know that the incidence of diabetes is increasing among the younger population. In 2017, NIH released a report pointing to the increased rate of the disease. Their report was based on a New England Journal of Medicine study. Researchers collected data from 0-19 years old throughout the United States from 2002 to 2012. The research reports that type 1 diabetes is growing at a 1.8% rate, and type 2 diabetes is increasing by a 4.8% rate annually. They reported growth is among all racial groups. However, it is highest among the Asian and Pacific Islander population, African American population, and the Native American population.2

It is essential to check with the family doctor to test for diabetes annually. Learning about your health is the beginning of tackling this disease. If blood sugar levels are abnormal, ask your doctor to refer you to other health professionals. They can help you improve your eating habits, exercise, and other lifestyle habits. Making lifestyle changes as soon as possible can help reduce the multiple symptoms associated with diabetes. Also, ask your doctor for reliable resources to learn as much as you can about this disease. Researching will help you ask the right questions and keep track of your current health status. Remember, preventing diabetes is the best way to stay healthy.

Pamela Williams writes from Southern California.

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

is a dietitian, photographer, and writer in Southern California.

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