Monday, July 24, 2017

The Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease in which there is an abnormally high level of glucose in the blood. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes.With obesity levels rising to all -time highs, the type 2 diabetes epidemic is increasing at an alarming rate. From 2001 and 2002, the incidence of diabetes went from 5.5 percent of Americans to a 6.5 percent in just one year!

Overall, twelve million Americans have been diagnosed and another five million Americans already have diabetes, but don’t realize it. Additionally, another twelve millions are on their way to developing type 2 diabetes because of impaired glucose levels. Not having been diagnosed is the worst because risks of untreated diabetes places people at high risk of complications, such as blindness, amputations, and death. The irony is that type 2 diabetes is almost completely preventable by eating less, eating better, and exercising.

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Life expectancy has been on the rise for years, and people are living longer than ever before. That will not continue, however, if type 2 diabetes is not brought under control. We have become a self-indulgent society, and it is affecting how we live and how long we live. The diabetes epidemic is not just an American problem, either. It is spreading worldwide with epidemic levels reported in Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean. It is estimated that by 2025, the number of diabetics worldwide will increase to 380 million. Diabetes is also now affecting more of the young and middle-aged population in developing countries.

Medications are frequently prescribed for type 2 diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes is initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary changes. If blood sugar levels are not adequately lowered by these measures, medications such as metformin or insulin may be needed. In those on insulin, there is typically the requirement to routinely check blood sugar levels.
Although genes play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes,  it is largely a self-inflicted disease. That's the tragedy of the this epidemic. On the other hand, that's also the hope: by changing the behaviors that caused the disease to develop, type 2 diabetes can be stopped and reversed before irreparable damage is done.

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