Compiled by Deana M. Newman
Courtesy of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
o FACT #1: Over 20.8 million United States citizens, aged 20 and older, have diabetes.
o FACT #2: Minorities are at least twice more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than Caucasians.
o FACT #3: The incidence rate of death due to diabetes complications is twice that of people without diabetes and within the same age group.
Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which too much sugar or glucose is stored within the blood stream as a result of the body’s inability to use the sugar as energy. When food is consumed and transformed into the sugar energy source, the pancreas excretes the insulin hormone to aid the body in metabolizing sugar. However, if the body is unable to make enough insulin or can not use its self-produced insulin adequately, the amount of sugar in the blood accumulates to dangerous levels depriving the tissues and organs of oxygen.
There are three types of diabetes. Type-1 diabetes, known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), is normally diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults and occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks the pancreas ceasing the production of insulin. Type-2 diabetes, known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), is the most common type in all age groups. It occurs when the body does not use its self-produced insulin properly causing the pancreas to overwork and eventually unable to maintain the demand of insulin production. The third type is gestational diabetes which is a form of glucose intolerance diagnosed during pregnancy.
If not tightly controlled, many complications may arise in a diabetic patient. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, neurological damage, gum disease, poor blood circulation, and pregnancy complications. As reported by the CDC, each year over 80,000 amputations are performed as a result of diabetes.
Are you at risk for diabetes?
The following is a list provided by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to determine an individual’s risk for diabetes. If any of the following applies, then you are at a higher risk for the disease:
o Age greater than 45 years
o Diabetes during a previous pregnancy
o Excess body weight (especially around the waist)
o Family history of diabetes
o Given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
o HDL cholesterol under 35
o High blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat molecule (250 mg/dL or more)
o High blood pressure (greater than or equal to 140/90 mmHg)
o Impaired glucose tolerance
o Low activity level
o Poor diet
o Either of African-American, Hispanic American, or Native American origin
What are common symptoms of diabetes?
o Frequent urination
o Excessive thirst
o Unexplained weight loss
o Extreme hunger
o Sudden vision changes
o Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
o Feeling very tired much of the time
o Very dry skin
o Sores that are slow to heal
o More infections than usual.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed as a diabetic or borderline diabetic, it does not mean you have to become a victim of the condition. Taking medication as prescribed by a physician, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, lean and skinless meats, non-fat dairy products, drinking water and calorie-free beverages, and most importantly practicing portion control are pertinent in preventing and controlling diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) conducted a federally funded study of 3,234 participants at high risk for Type 2 diabetes which demonstrated by losing five to seven percent of overall body weight through 30 minutes of exercise five days per week and eating a healthy diet can significantly delay and possibly prevent the disease.
For more information on diabetes awareness and to locate your local ADA office, contact the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org.
Deana Newman is currently a Cardiovascular Perfusionist at Sparrow Hospital and a Master’s candidate in Health Communications at Michigan State University.
Pregnancy/ Diabetes Education
Two hour group class for women who have developed diabetes during pregnancy.
9am to 11am
Location: Sparrow Professional Building Suite 340
Summary: This class includes information on control of gestational diabetes, nutritional needs during pregnancy and monitoring your blood sugar during pregnancy. Physician referral is required.
For more information on the class and cost (covered by most insurances), call the Sparrow Diabetes Center at 517.364.5955.Weekly classes