American Diabetes Month
Diabetes has been on the rise in the United States, with almost 10 percent of the population affected, and tens of millions more at risk. The disease arises in some patients because the body is unable to produce insulin; this form is commonly known as ‘type 1 diabetes.’ For others, the condition develops over time as the body falters at maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, known as ‘type 2 diabetes.’ Although there is no cure for diabetes, this chronic condition can be effectively managed; if left unmanaged, patients can suffer complications such as blindness, nerve damage, limb amputation, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, or even coma or death.
In recognition of American Diabetes Month this November, we run the numbers on diabetes and explore how eating well can help control existing diabetes or help at-risk patients avoid developing this condition.
The American Diabetes Association breaks down some facts about diabetes by the numbers:
- Every 19 Seconds: How often someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes.
- 86 Million: Number of Americans with a condition known as ‘prediabetes’ (i.e. at immediate risk for developing type 2 diabetes).
- 1 in 3: Unless current trends change, estimated prevalence of diabetes in America by the year 2050.
- 8 Million: Estimated number of Americans who have diabetes that is not diagnosed (and may therefore be uncontrolled).
- $245 Billion: Total spending on diagnosed diabetes in the United States. Some of this number comes from health care spending; the rest comes from lost work and other associated costs.
- 60 to 70 Percent: Proportion of patients with diabetes who experience mild to severe nerve damage.
- $1 in $10: Number of healthcare dollars spent treating diabetes and related conditions.
Better Eating Today
For 2015, the focus of American Diabetes Month (as well as World Diabetes Day, observed on November 14) is the relationship of diabetes to food. Sensible food choices can have a huge effect on blood sugar and body function. Learning more about different nutrient types, and aiming for a diabetes-friendly balance, may help patients with diabetes reduce their medication needs and feel better than ever. (One helpful tool is Residential Home Health’s diabetes nutrition placemat — click the link below to download a copy.) Eating well — not merely making healthy choices, but starting a new relationship with foods that are fresh, nutrient-dense, and enjoyable — can be a tremendous step toward management, reversal, or even prevention of type 2 diabetes, and it’s one you can take all on your own.
No matter what your health challenge, Residential offers a range of services to help you work toward your health goals safely at home. Call (888)930-WELL (9355) to discuss your specific situation with a Home Care Specialist today, or click here to take our 60-second, 15-question Home Care Assessment.