Health & Medical

Diabetes: Unfortunate but preventable

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Nancy
Written by Nancy

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent medical conditions in the United States at the moment.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 30.2 million Americans were living with the condition as of 2015, a number that was expected to increase significantly. It is alarming that the condition affects a third of the entire population on the US since it is preventable.

What is even more alarming is the fact that a total of 7.2 million patients are currently undiagnosed. Further, according to reports about 85.1 million Americans were at risk of diabetes at the age of 18. Diabetes mellitus, a condition characterized by the inability to produce insulin is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

Given the high prevalence rates and the number of people currently living undiagnosed, it is imperative that we increase awareness regarding the condition. As more people start undergoing screening for the condition and implementing lifestyle changes, it may be possible to reduce the cost of the condition across the country.

What is diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that is characterized by the body’s inability to produce or respond to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows for the conversion of carbohydrates in the body to glucose, which is the basic source of all the energy in the human body.

The cells in the human body function by burning glucose. A diabetic patient’s body cannot convert carbohydrates to glucose and their body stops functioning.  As a result of this they begin exhibiting the symptoms of the condition.

The Variations in Diabetes

Diabetes is classified into two categories:

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Type 2 Diabetes

The symptoms of the condition are similar across the two categories; the two are differentiated on the basis of whether and how the body responds to insulin production. There are no significant differences between when someone develops either type of diabetes either. When someone develops type 1 diabetes, it implies that their bodies simply do not produce insulin at all.

Those who suffer from type 2 diabetes do not respond as well to insulin production or their bodies produce insufficient amounts of insulin. These individuals are said to have developed a resistance to insulin caused by high sugar and processed food intake.

The Symptoms

As we mentioned before, the symptoms of the condition do not differ across the two types of diabetes. However, there may be a difference in the frequency with which certain symptoms appear in patients suffering from either type of the disease.

Typical diabetic symptoms are:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Increased Thirst
  • Increased Hunger
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing from cuts and bruises
  • Weight Loss (Specific to type 1 diabetes)
  • Numbness in extremities (Specific to type 2 diabetes)

Prevention

Type 1 diabetes is an unpreventable condition. Although it is possible to predict the onset of the condition, testing for the condition only helps people prepare for it. While there is little to be done about type 1 diabetes, it only forms a small percentage of diabetes cases.

About 90-95% of all diabetic cases are type 2 cases. This prevalence rate is one of the most worrying aspects of the condition since it is usually caused by unhealthy lifestyles. Medical practitioners have identified the following risk factors for the development of the condition:

  • Being Overweight
  • Being over the age of 45
  • Having a close family relative with type 2 diabetes
  • Being physically active for less than 3 times a week

Each of these factors can be mitigated by following fitness routines and developing healthy eating habits. Given how widespread the condition is, it is imperative that you visit your physician for regular checkups to identify any predispositions for the condition.

Type 2 diabetes can be fatal unless the proper steps are taken to manage the condition. With the number of people living undiagnosed with the condition and at risk for the condition, only mindfulness on our parts can help us live wholesome and healthy lives.

Stripes Primary Care Clinics conduct diabetes screening tests and provide treatment in Mesa, Arizona. Our services extend to offering medical advice for prevention of chronic medical conditions and primary care services to help manage their illnesses. Get in touch with our clinics for an appointment and a physicians consultation today.

About the author

Nancy

Nancy

I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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