Diabetes in America

November 1, 2012 by Molly Huff

The American Diabetes Association is dedicated to raising awareness of this ever-growing disease and focusing the nation's attention on issues surrounding diabetes and the millions impacted by it.  Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, and another 79 million have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  These statistics prove just how widespread and devastating diabetes is in our country, and with November being American Diabetes Month, Affinity hopes to bring some added awareness.

What is diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.  In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin which is a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy.  Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease, and with the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. 

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes where the body either does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.  Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and many more are unaware that they are at high risk.  Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.

Symptoms

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Unusual thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue and irritability
     

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Any of the type 1 symptoms
  • Frequent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Tingling/numbness in the hands/feet
  • Recurring skin, gum or bladder infections

If you are having any or all of these symptoms and suspect you may be at risk of having diabetes, please contact Affinity and make an appointment with one of our physicians.

What can you do to help raise awareness?

Throughout the month of November, the American Diabetes Association will using Facebook and Twitter to highlight images and thought-provoking questions about diabetes.  Visit the American Diabetes Association website to learn more and to find out about the Step Out - Walk to Stop Diabetes events going on throughout the country to raise money for diabetes research.