HEALTH MATTERS: Itís time to stop the devastation of diabetes

Published: 2011-11-08 10:35:37
Author: Carolyn Sluiter

 With nearly 26 million children and adults in America living with diabetes, and another 79 million at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, the disease is taking a devastating physical, emotional, and financial toll on our country. Yet, according to the American Diabetes Association, most Americans don’t consider diabetes a serious matter. They feel it is someone else’s responsibility; it is someone else’s problem.

Recent numbers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paint a desperate situation of where we are presently and where we are headed:

  • Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Diabetes kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes now. November is American Diabetes Month and a good time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes, the importance of diabetes prevention and control, and to raise the awareness of some of the disease’s serious complications.

In my business, I see the complications that diabetics face nearly everyday. Besides being a costly chronic disease requiring needles, testing strips, and insulins, for many diabetes results in significant side effects and complications. Diabetes increases a person’s risk for many serious health problems. The good news? With the correct treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes are able to prevent or delay the onset of complications. For example, people need to keep their risk of glaucoma, cataracts and other eye problems including retinopathy low with regular checkups. Foot complications can be lessened by even a single visit to a podiatrist, examining and washing feet daily, being measured and properly fitted every time shoes are purchased, and by wearing appropriate socks and stockings.