November is Diabetes Awareness Month
Diabetes has become increasingly prominent in the last 20 years, which is why in 2010 President Barack Obama declared November National Diabetes Month. Throughout the month of November, Americans are encouraged to spread the word about diabetes prevention, care and treatment, as well as assess their own risks and, if needed, get tested. By promoting diabetes education, Diabetes Awareness Month seeks to curb this epidemic, encourage greater overall health and support those living with the condition.
The Facts About Diabetes
- More than 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes – that’s more than 9 percent of the U.S. population.
- Diabetes caused more than 69,000 deaths in 2010, making it the seventh leading cause of death for Americans.
- Seniors suffer from diabetes at the highest rate – nearly 26 percent of Americans age 65 and up have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes .
- One in three American adults – 86 million – have prediabetes and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), upwards of 90 percent don’t realize they have it.
Type 1 vs. Type 2
Of the 29.1 million Americans with diabetes, 96 percent have type 2. But about 30,000 Americans – 15,000 children and 15,000 adults – are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes annually. Those with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin and, as a result, must get insulin therapy. Because many cases of type 1 diabetes are diagnosed in childhood, it was previously known as “juvenile diabetes.”
Type 2 diabetes tends to come on later in life, though by no means is that always the case. The number of teens living with type 2 diabetes has increased in recent years. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly (this is called insulin resistance). At first, your pancreas makes extra insulin to compensate. But, over time it isn't able to keep up and can't make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose at normal levels. People with type 2 diabetes can manage their condition with diet and lifestyle changes including increased exercise, weight loss and healthier eating, as well as, oral medications and in some cases insulin.
Without significant lifestyle changes, up to 30 percentv of those with prediabetes will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within five years. The surest way to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes among adults at high risk is through exercise and moderate weight loss.
Diabetes Awareness Month begins on November 1st. Because of the prominence of diabetes in America, virtually everyone will come in contact with the condition at some point in their lives. Having a strong understanding of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including what it means and how to prevent the latter type, will help keep everyone healthier and happier.
This information is for general background purposes and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific conditions. Seek prompt medical attention for health care questions you have.
All third-party references and links provided in this article are for educational purposes only. No sponsorship or endorsement is implied. Information was used from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Diabetes Association and the International Diabetes Federation.
©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2016
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