Diabetes Statistics and Monitoring

Diabetes Statistics

Diabetes is a life-long chronic disease of high blood sugar levels.   Statistics show that 25.8 million children and adults, which is 8.3% of population, have diabetes.  There are 18.8 million diagnosed and 7 million undiagnosed.  Not to mention the 79 million people who have pre-diabetes which leads to Type 2 diabetes, and 1.9 million new cases for people under the age 20.  Complications include; eye, skin and foot problems, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease and amputations.

What Happens?

Glucose is the main source of energy for cells that make up our muscles and tissues.  The source of glucose comes from the food we eat and our liver.  During digestion sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream and our cells, with the help of insulin.  Insulin is created in our pancreas, and when we eat the pancreas releases it into the bloodstream.  The insulin “opens the door” to our cells, so that they can absorb the glucose, which reduces the amount of sugar in the blood.  When we don’t eat our liver releases glucose into the blood, so that are levels will be normal.

Difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Normally our immune system fends or kills off bacteria and viruses, but in Type 1 diabetes the immune system attacks and destroys insulin producing cells in the pancreas, which leaves a person with no insulin, leaving sugar to build up in the blood stream.  Type 2 diabetes usually comes after pre-diabetes, in which the body becomes resistant to insulin.  So, your pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin again allowing blood to build up in the blood stream.  There is still no definitive cause as to why either occurs, but they are manageable.

diabetes

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdsdigital/4015686291/

Monitoring

The main tool to controlling and monitoring blood glucose levels is a blood test.  People who should monitor their levels are those:

– who take insulin

– who are pregnant

– have a hard time controlling their levels

– have low blood glucose levels

– have high levels of ketones

The target range is different for every person.  You should work with your doctor to know what is best for you.  The suggested level for someone who is not pregnant should be:

-A1C: 7%

-Preprandial Plasma Glucose (before a meal): 70-130mg/dl

-Postprandial Plasma Glucose (after a meal): <180 mg/dl

Make sure you are keeping track of your levels every day, so that you can see how food, activity and stress affect you.  Don’t let your levels discourage you, sometimes the higher levels affect your mood or temperament, but with the right medicine, exercise and proper nutrition your diabetes can be maintained.

Victoria Kunze writes about insulin dependent diabetes treatments.

Speak Your Mind

*

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free