We hear about it, but most of us who are fortunate enough not to have it, know little of how dangerous it is to let it go undetected.
What is it, what does it do to you, how do you get it, how is it treated, and how many Americans suffer from it?
Let’s Take a Look at Diabetic Incidence
Here are some scary statistics. I had no idea so many suffered from it or the huge different effects between Type I and Type II.
From the CDC: “The National Diabetes Statistics Report provides up-to-date information on the prevalence and incidence of diabetes and prediabetes, risk factors for complications, acute and long-term complications, deaths, and costs.
- Total: 37.3 million people have diabetes (11.3% of the US population
- Diagnosed: 28.7 million people, including 28.5 million adults
- Undiagnosed: 8.5 million people (23.0% of adults are undiagnosed)
- Prediabetes: Total: 96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes (38.0% of the adult US population)
- 65 years or older: 26.4 million people aged 65 years or older (48.8%) have prediabetes
If this doesn’t shock you, nothing will consider that one out of 10 people you see passing you on the street has diabetes and half of those over 65 have prediabetes. We are just magnets for all kinds of maladies and ailments that can kill us. It is like war, or a shooting gallery, where we are just targets, and our only hope is to get a good defense or maybe run like hell, but knowing all the time there is no escape. Thank goodness we have managed to defeat many attacks from other killing diseases in the past, like measles, polio, and smallpox, but deadly enemies like cancer, heart attacks, and diabetes, are still waging a war decimating many of our troops.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy.
Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.
With diabetes 2 your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
What are the Types of Diabetes?
This is the deadly one. With type 1, the pancreas isn’t making enough insulin or not enough. Insulin is vital because it helps blood sugar to move inside the cells as fuel for energy. Blood sugar can’t get into cells and then piles up in the bloodstream. This condition is very damaging to the body and causes one or several of the many symptoms and complications of diabetes. It once was called juvenile diabetes because it tends to develop in young adults, teens, and young children. However, it can occur at any age.
About 5-10% of people with diabetes have Type 1. There is still no known cure or how to prevent it. However, it can be treated with some success by:
- Getting support and educated on how to manage it.
- Regular checkups
- Blood sugar management
- Listen to and do what your doctor says to do for living a healthy lifestyle.
Autoimmune reaction: Type 1 is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction. This is when the body attacks itself thinking it is attacking an invading enemy. While the body is having diabetic symptoms, the pancreas is busy making insulin which hides its damaging effects of it. It may go on for a long while before symptoms appear because of this.
Inheritance: Some have inheritance traits in their genes that create a likelihood for diabetes to pass on. But some don’t, even with this potential susceptibility. Diet and lifestyle don’t trigger or cause Type I. But some environmental factors may trigger, such as viruses, and events of heavy stress that weaken the immune system. So if one has suspicions because of funny symptoms, he better get his blood sugar tested because if untreated, Diabetes could lead to devastating consequences, even death.
As the most dangerous, you should be alert for any of the following symptoms. If you have them, do a simple blood sugar test:
- Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night.
- You are very thirsty
- You lose weight without trying
- You are very hungry
- Blurry vision and are very tired.
- Have numb or tingling hands or feet
- Feel very tired, have dry skin and slow to heal sores
- You have more infections than usual.
You may have nausea, vomiting, and stomach pains. I have a friend who has heavy sweats and goes catatonic.
If you have been diagnosed as Type 1, immediately get under the care of an MD, and get yourself some support from friends and caregivers, without delay.
We have now covered a bit about diabetes 1, and there is a bit more for us to cover, such as what are the symptoms, the real causations and what is the real treatment, and what can be expected if treated right. Is it contagious, and should you worry if your child gets it? And are there supplements for it? We will cover this in the next blog, along with Type 2 Diabetes and prediabetes. So hang on for more revelations about this amazing common disease that should be treated with respect and common sense.
While supplements exist for both Type 1 and Type 2 and are available to help with blood sugar, they may only provide some, but some is better than none, right? Vitamin B12, C, D, and D may be helpful. Do your study, and consult your doctor, wrong supplements may do more harm than good.
Diabetes Type 2 and Prediabetes Next. Stay Tuned.
This series is taking a bit longer to get at the real substance of the matter, and that is why it is running into three segments. The best is yet to come.
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