Fact: Diabetes kills more people a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Did we get your attention? Good. Because diabetes currently affects 25.8 million people in the U.S. In addition, there are 79 million adults and children diagnosed with pre-diabetes every year. A diagnoses of pre-diabetes is given when the blood glucose level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. As the obesity rates steadily raise, so too does diabetes.
There are two types, Type 1 and Type 2, of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is believed to be an autoimmune disease. Commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, it’s when the body doesn't produce enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is much more common. It can result from high blood pressure and blood fat levels, obesity or being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle, ethnicity or age causing bad effects on insulin in the body. Insulin is what transforms glucose into energy.
The impact of insulin deficiency is important to take care of. People with Type 1 diabetes track the levels of blood sugar and treat the diabetes with insulin shots. People with Type 2 diabetes track their blood sugar levels but have a choice of treatment options.
According to Dr. Keith Campbell, Associate Dean and Professor at Washington State University College of Pharmacy and a Certified Diabetes Educator, approximately 12 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes treat it with diet and exercise alone, 48 percent use an oral medicine, and 40 percent use insulin, sometimes partnered with an oral medicine. Recent studies have concluded that weight-loss surgery is also helpful for treating Type 2 diabetes by either reducing the amount of medication or resulting in total remission of diabetes within two years after the surgery. Read more about weight-loss surgery as treatment for Type 2 diabetes.
Prevention is the best weapon in the battle against diabetes. Due to the nature of it, it is still unknown how to prevent Type 1 but Type 2 can be prevented in some cases. Some tips to prevent diabetes include:
- Eating a high-fiber, low-fat diet
- Exercise regularly
- Keep alcohol consumption low
- Quit smoking
- Take medication as directed for high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure
- Lose extra weight
Because losing extra weight positively affects diabetes weight-loss surgery can be used as a prevention tool as well. A study conducted by Lars Sjostrom, MD, PhD, of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and his colleagues found an 80 percent lower risk of diabetes after bariatric surgery. The study took 1,658 obese people without diabetes who elected to undergo bariatric surgery to 1,771 obese people without diabetes who did not want to take the surgery. The findings concluded that 28 percent of the patients who did not have surgery developed diabetes within 10 years of standard care whereas only 7 percent of the patients who had surgery developed diabetes.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes please call FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. FirstHealth offers a Diabetes Self-Management Program with one-on-one counseling and group classes to help patients understand the disease. For more information about these services please call (800) 364-0499.
FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in partnership with Pinehurst Surgical offers weight loss options to patients in the Pinehurst, Raeford, Sanford, Lumberton, Laurinburg, Rockingham, and Tory regions of North Carolina and beyond.