In the last decade, the number of people afflicted with diabetes has increased by almost 50%. More than 29 million Americans suffer from this disease. It affects more than 380 million people worldwide and the World Health Organization is estimating that this number will more than double by 2030.
Currently, diabetes is deadlier than AIDS and breast cancer combined as it is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart failure and stroke. Annually, this disease costs the American public more than $245 billion.
To understand what diabetes is, you need to understand the role insulin plays in the body. When you eat and your body converts food into sugars (glucose), your pancreas is supposed to release insulin. Insulin serves to open your body’s cells so the glucose can be used for energy. This system does not work in diabetes. There are multiple types of diabetes, but the most common forms are type 1 and type 2. Another, less common, form is gestational diabetes, which occurs in women during pregnancy.
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation has the latest updates on the research that is currently taking place to find a cure for this disease.
Managing the Disease:
Managing diabetes is a constant struggle as you need to keep your blood sugar levels in the desired range. Multiple factors affect the body’s ability to manage this and all need to be kept in mind – food, exercise, stress and overall general health. There are multiple resources available to assist you by providing tools and education.