Diabetes Across the US

Millions have diabetes or prediabetes and do not realize it

(RxWiki News) More than 100 million adults across the United States are living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As of 2015, 84.1 million American had prediabetes while 30.3 million Americans had diabetes, this report found. Left untreated, prediabetes typically leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.

This CDC report also found that nearly 1 in 4 four adults living with diabetes didn't even know they had the condition. Similarly, most of the millions of US adults with prediabetes didn't know they had it.

Diabetes can lead to serious complications, including early death, vision loss, kidney failure, heart disease and amputations of toes, feet and legs. However, diabetes can be effectively managed through a healthy diet, exercise and the appropriate use of medications to stabilize blood sugar levels. 

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

If you have any of the diabetes symptoms below, notify your health care provider.

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Being very hungry even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal
  • Frequent infections
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands or feet 

Who should be screened for diabetes?

Many people have diabetes and don't realize it. That's why it's important that you are screened for diabetes every three years, beginning at the age of 45.

Screening may be recommended at an earlier age and more frequently for those with diabetes risk factors. Risk factors include a family history of diabetes, being overweight and signs of insulin resistance.

If you have any risk factors for diabetes, get screened. The idea of being diagnosed with diabetes may be scary, but it's better to know than to not know. Getting screened is the first step in preventing, delaying or treating diabetes.

What steps can I take now?

The good news? You can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. For starters, maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet and remain physically active. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.

Many studies have found that losing body weight through diet and exercise can lower your risk of diabetes. Shedding just a few pounds can make a big difference.

With these simple steps, you can live a healthier life and lower your risk of diabetes. If you have questions about your diabetes or prediabetes risk, speak with your pharmacist.