Shocking Statistics About Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes
- 30.3 million people (9.4% of population) in U.S. had diabetes in 2015
- New Cases: 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year
- 84.1 million people in U.S. had pre-diabetes (33.9% of population) in 2015
- Expect by 2050 one in three Americans will have diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin and/or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas. It is needed to change sugar, starches and other nutrients into energy which is required for daily life. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes.
- A1C blood test measures your average blood glucose for the past 2-3 months. Diabetes is diagnosed when A1C is 6.5% or greater.
- Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) level (must be fasting for at least 8 hours). Diabetes is diagnosed when FBG is 126 mg/dL or higher.
- Random Glucose Test (non-fasting) checks sugar level any time of day. Diabetes is blood glucose 200 mg/dL or higher.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF DIABETES
- Frequent urination
- Extreme thirst
- Extreme fatigue
- Blurred vision
Prediabetes means blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diabetes. There are no symptoms of prediabetes. Having prediabetes often becomes diabetes if lifestyle changes are not made. Risk can be lowered 58% by making healthy lifestyle changes. These same lifestyle changes will also help manage diabetes.
- Eat 3 balanced meals/day and limit sweets, fried foods and sweetened beverages; portion control; eat fresh fruits and vegetables; limit salt intake
- Stay physically active and avoid prolonged sitting; regular moderate exercise at least 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes 5 times per week, if able.
- Losing 7% of body weight if overweight
- Complications can develop due to diabetes especially if you don’t keep blood sugar well controlled. Eye and kidney damage, heart attacks, strokes and nerve damage are the most common complications of diabetes.
- Keeping A1C below 7% helps to prevent these complications.
- Also keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels controlled will help prevent complications.
About the Author
Hilda Cook, RN, CDE, CPT is Diabetes nurse educator with the Nutrition and Diabetes Education Services at Alamance Regional