HALF OF ADULTS IN THE U.S. HAVE DIABETES OR PRE-DIABETES

HALF OF ADULTS IN THE U.S. HAVE DIABETES OR PRE-DIABETES
Posted by Dr. John

According to a study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) in September 2015, nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes. 

CDC (Center for Disease Control) Statistics also revealed that

1 out of every 4 people have undiagnosed diabetes and

9 out of 10 people have undiagnosed pre-diabetes.  30% of all pre-diabetics will develop full blown Type 2 Diabetes within 5 years.

Pre-diabetes was defined as having a fasting blood sugar 100-125 mg/dl, or a hemoglobin A1C of 5.7-6.4%.  Investigators in the study defined diabetes (both undiagnosed and diagnosed) as those persons having a fasting blood sugar greater than 126 mg/dl or a hemoglobin A1C > 6.5 %, a measure of long term glucose control.

As alarming as these statistics are in the U.S., it is equally abysmal throughout the globe.  Over the last decade, Great Britain has seen a drastic rise in both pre-diabetes and diabetes.  More than one-third of British adults are pre-diabetic, according to the BBC News Report.  In 2003, only 11.6% of Britains had pre-diabetes. By 2011, the amount of people diagnosed in Great Britain had reached 35.3% (almost tripled).

Diabetes also increases your risk for many serous helath problems.  In fact, nearly 71,000 people die annually due to complications associated with diabetes, based on recent statistics from the American Diabetes Association.

Complications of Diabetes

Long-term complications of diabetes develop gradually. The longer you have diabetes — and the less controlled your blood sugar — the higher the risk of complications. Eventually, diabetes complications may be disabling or even life-threatening.

Possible complications include:

  • Skin and Tissue InfectionDamage to the blood vessels and nerves of the skin lead to decrease blood flow and circulation to the skin.  This will result in death of the keratinocytes (skin cells) leading to the following skin changes:

  • Foot damageNerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications. Left untreated, cuts and blisters can develop serious infections, which often heal poorly. These infections may ultimately require toe, foot or leg amputation.

  • Eye damage (retinopathy)Diabetes can damage the blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy), potentially leading to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of other serious vision conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma.

  • Kidney damage (nephropathy)The kidneys contain millions of tiny blood vessel clusters (glomeruli) that filter waste from your blood. Diabetes can damage this delicate filtering system. Severe damage can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

  • Nerve damage (Peripheral Neuropathy)Excess sugar can injure the walls of the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that nourish your nerves, especially in your legs. This condition is called Peripheral Neuropathy and can cause tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers and gradually spreads upward. Left untreated, you could lose all sense of feeling in the affected limbs, strength and balance. Over time, peripheral neuropathy becomes debilitating.  Most neuropathy sufferers experience high levels of unrelenting pain and lose the ability to walk without a cane or walker.  Some people are reduced to using a wheel chair.  Nerve Damage can also occur to the nerves related to digestion resulting in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. For men, it may lead to erectile dysfunction.

  • Cardiovascular diseaseDiabetes dramatically increases the risk of various cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease (plaquing of arteries) with chest pain (angina), heart attack, stroke and narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis). If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have heart disease or stroke.

Dry, flaky skin

Taut skin

Brown or purple discoloration of skin

Ulcerations

Fungal infections (skin, toenails and systemic)

Cuts or wounds that are slow to heal

Bacterial infections (staph or strep)

  • Hearing impairmentDiabetics have double the risk of developing hearing loss than non-diabetics.

  • Alzheimer’s diseaseType 2 diabetes is the hallmark for both Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

Avoid the pitfalls leading to the development of diabetes by knowing the risk factors:

  • Weight –The more fatty tissue you have, the more resistant your cells become to insulin.

  • Inactivity –The less active you are, the greater your risk. Physical activity helps you control your weight, uses up glucose as energy and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

  • Family history –Your risk increases if a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes.  Although Type 2 Diabetes is not hereditary – it is due to lifestyle choices – your family history will give you an idea of how easily the loaded gun may

    Race – Research published in JAMA reveals that African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans — are at higher risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.

  • Age –Your risk increases as you get older. This may be because you tend to exercise less, lose muscle mass and gain weight as you age. But type 2 diabetes is also increasing dramatically among children, adolescents and younger adults.

  • Gestational diabetes –If you developed gestational diabetes when you were pregnant, your risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes later increases. If you gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds (4 kilograms), you’re also at risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) –For women, having polycystic ovary syndrome — a common condition characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth and obesity — increases the risk of diabetes.

  • High blood pressure –Having blood pressure over 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels –If you have low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol, your risk of type 2 diabetes is higher. Triglycerides are another type of fat carried in the blood. People with high levels of triglycerides have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Your doctor can let you know what your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.forbes.com

AVOID THE DIABETES EPIDEMIC

Diabetes has become the plague of the 21st century.  Although there are many causes of Peripheral neuropathy from diabetes, to medications/drugs and more…the reality is that 66% off all people who suffer with diabetes will develop peripheral neuropathy.

Don’t settle for being a part of the diabetes epidemic.  You can avoid developing diabetes by simply making some lifestyle changes. I understand that changing the way we eat and view food can be daunting but if you don’t have diabetes, then you have the ability to ‘Baby Step’ your way to change.  What do I mean?  Choose 1 thing to change in your diet today.  Maybe it will be giving up soda or it might be skipping the after dinner sweets.  Do this for 30 days.  It will be difficult for the first week, but I promise…it will get progressively easier.  By the time you hit day 30, you won’t be missing it any longer.  If you already have developed diabetes or complications due to your diabetes, like peripheral neuropathy, just know it does not have to be a life sentence.  Both Type 2 Diabetes and Peripheral neuropathy can be reversed.

By the way, when I work with my diabetic patients, even though I drastically alter their diet, they still have 1 cheat day per week (only once a week).  On this day, they can eat or drink absolutely anything they want from ‘sun up’ until they go to bed.  Believe it or not, even with a weekly cheat day, we successfully lower their fasting blood glucose to 80 – 95 mg/dl.  Typically when these people start out with me, it’s not uncommon for their fasting glucose to be between 150 mg/dl – 200 mg/dl

So what do you need to do?  Be mindful about your habits. Steer clear of behavior patterns that harm your health, and incorporate those that will enhance your quality of life. Again, type 2 diabetes involves loss of insulin sensitivity, which is easily preventable, and nearly 100 percent reversible without drugs.  By addressing your diet and other lifestyle habits, such as exercise, and sleep. I suggest taking a lifestyle inventory to see where you might have room for improvement.

Here are some things you can start by doing right now to help yourself.

  • Review your eating patterns – – How much sugar and sugar-forming carbohydrates are you eating daily? Is corn syrup a primary staple of your diet, hidden in the processed foods you buy on a regular basis? Do you have more ‘carbs’ on your plate than vegetables?

  • Are you an “emotional eater” – Do you tend to overindulge in comfort foods when you are feeling sad or angry?

  • Evaluate your activity level – Are you getting enough exercise each week?

  • Are you getting enough sunlight? – Have you measured your vitamin D levels lately? New evidence supports the notion that vitamin D is extremely beneficial for both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. If you are not currently on a vitamin D supplement, you need to consider a vitamin D supplement.  Even if you spend a significant time in the sun, most people use sunblock which prevents vitamin D production.

  • What patterns are you inadvertently passing along to your children? – What example are you setting for your kids, in terms of nutrition and exercise? Are they getting the message that health is a priority? If you eat like crap and are a couch potato, chances are your children will follow suit.  Getting healthy can and should be a family activity! When everyone is involved, you can support each other and give kudos for positive strides, making it more fun for everyone. The payoffs to your health will be great, and you will be passing along good lifestyle habits to your children, which will serve them for years to come.

  • Get adequate high-quality sleep every night –Insufficient sleep raises stress hormones and blood sugar  This will result in insulin resistance and weight gain. In one 10-year long study of 70,000 diabetes-free women, researchers found that women who either slept less than five hours a night or more than nine hours each night were 34 percent more likely to develop diabetes than women who slept seven to eight hours each night.

To find out more about the connection of Diabetes and Peripheral Neuropathy and what you can do about it – visit:  http://www.nervedoctor.info

or call the San Antonio Neuropathy Center 210-492-0111