Posted by Dr. Radhakrishna

Diabetes and High Prevalence

Diabetes has been rising in the US. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 3 individuals are living with diabetes. Diabetes continues to be a growing health problem and the seventh leading cause of death in the country. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and ways to prevent the disease can help you in many ways.

What is diabetes?

Blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, is the main source of energy that comes from food you eat. Your pancreas makes hormone called insulin that helps blood glucose enter into your cells to be used for energy. If your body is not able to make enough insulin or use insulin well, blood glucose stays in your blood instead of entering into your cell, causing diabetes. Diabetes can reduce life expectancy and can cause serious organ damage, heart attacks, kidney failure, and other complications.

There are three main types of diabetes:
1. Type 1 diabetes: Your body does not make insulin and immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin.
2. Type 2 diabetes: Your body does not make or use insulin well, and it is the most common type of diabetes.
3. Gestational diabetes: Diabetes that develops in women during pregnancy.

How diabetes affect you

Diabetes can cause blurred vision, frequent urination, and lethargy after every meal. Change in body odor and lack of sleep due to frequent urination at night may cause constant fatigue, affecting social activities.

What you can do to control diabetes

There are ways to help manage or control your diabetes.
1. Controlling how much you eat and counting your carbohydrates can help.
2. You can enjoy quality of life with diabetes with regular exercise and physical activities.
3. If your doctor prescribes medication, it’s important to take them on time in addition to lifestyle changes.

Diabetes can be a lifelong journey, so it’s important to surround yourself with support. Support from family and the healthcare professional team goes a long way to help manage the disease.

New CDC report: More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 3, 2018.