Diabetes: A Growing Concern
The Bruce S. Chertow Diabetes Center at Marshall University has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association for its ongoing commitment to high quality healthcare for individuals with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recognizes this education program as meeting the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education.
An estimated 20 million people in the United States have diabetes, or nearly seven percent of the total population. Known as a silent killer, 5 million people are unaware that they are affected. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and the subject of research projects and clinical trials nationwide.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes occurs when the body fails to produce or correctly use insulin made by the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that changes sugar, starches and other food into energy for our body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into the cells, it can lead to diabetes and its complications. Related health problems occur over time which can be severe, including blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, amputation, heart disease and stroke.
While the exact cause of diabetes is not yet known, Americans’ inactive lifestyle and regular diet high in fats, salt and sugar account for a large portion of the alarming rise in the number of diabetic patients. Persons at a higher risk also include those with a family history, those over age 45, overweight individuals and certain ethnic groups (African American, Latino and Native American).
Many people with diabetes are surprised when they are first diagnosed. Often they have no idea that they were even at risk for the disease. Many people first become aware that they have diabetes when its symptoms become apparent.
Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of its symptoms seem so harmless. Studies show that early detection of diabetes symptoms and treatment can decrease the chance of developing the complications of diabetes.
For more basic information about Diabetes watch the video below.