Four Surprising Facts About Diabetes
It starts silently, and the symptoms are often easy to overlook. One-third of all adults have diabetes and don’t even realize they have it. This places them at risk for stroke, kidney failure, and even limb amputation.
WHAT IS DIABETES?
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin or the body isn’t able to use insulin effectively. Insulin is necessary for processing glucose (sugar), which the body uses for energy. When glucose isn’t processed correctly, this sugar builds up in the bloodstream. Consistently high blood sugar causes extensive complications. While many may be aware that diabetics need insulin to control their blood sugar, there are some facts about the disease that are surprising.
For a short review about the three types of diabetes, see our information page.
SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT DIABETES
- It isn’t just prevalent in America.
While news headlines declare that Americans are as unhealthy as ever, type 2 diabetes is not just occurring in record numbers in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyles have made type 2 diabetes a worldwide epidemic.
- Death from diabetes isn’t limited to impoverished countries.
Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 80 percent in the next ten years in upper- and middle- income countries.
- Type 2 is prevalent.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes–accounting for 90 percent of all cases worldwide.
- Numbers are spiking.
In the past 32 years, the number of Americans with diabetes quadrupled. Roughly 1.7 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year. If the current trends continue, 1 out of every 3 adults will have diabetes by the year 2050.