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Learn More About Diabetes

The following are some facts about diabetes provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  1. Diabetes is a disease caused by a deficiency of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas.
  2. About 16 million American have diabetes but only about 10 million have been diagnosed.
  3. Diabetes has been called an epidemic by the CDC. It estimates that the number of people with diabetes will more than triple in 30 years.
  4. Diabetes and its complications occurs in Americans of all ages and racial and ethnic groups. Elderly people are more commonly affected.
  5. Diabetes patients risk debilitating complications, such as blindness, kidney and heart disease and lower extremity amputations.
  6. About 1,700 new cases are diagnosed every day in the United States.
  7. There is no cure for diabetes.
Types of Diabetes:

Type 1: Previously called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile onset diabetes. It accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of all cases.

Type 2: Previously called noninsulin dependent diabetes, type 2 accounts for about 90 percent to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases.

Risk factors include older age, a family history of diabetes, obesity and impaired glucose tolerance.

Treatment:

Treatment is aimed at keeping blood glucose near normal levels at all times. Training in self-management is integral.

It must be individualized and must address medical, psychological and lifestyle issues.

Treatment for type 2 includes diet control, exercise, blood glucose testing and, in some cases, oral medication and or insulin.

Millions of Americans go undiagnosed. Early detection is crucial.

Symptoms:

  • Frequent urination.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Extreme hunger.
  • Sudden vision change.
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet.
  • Feeling tired much of the time.
  • Very dry skin.
  • Sores that are slow to heal.
  • More infections than usual.
Testing:
  • All people older than 45.
  • People who are obese.
  • Those who have family member with diabetes.
  • Members of high risk groups. (African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians)
  • Those who have delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
  • People who are hypersensitive.

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