The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona is honoring American Diabetes Month. Diabetes rates are on the rise in the US. Today, 1 in 11 Americans has diabetes and every 23 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes. American Indians have a 2.2 times higher likelihood to have diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites. There was a 68% increase in diabetes between 1994 and 2004 among American Indian youths aged 15-19. Data from the 2009 Indian Health Services’ (IHS) National Patient Information Reporting System (NPIRS) indicate that 14.2 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 20 years or older who received care from IHS had diagnosed diabetes. Statistics show that diabetes causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined.
People with diabetes can experience serious complications, including heart disease and stroke, blindness, chronic kidney disease, nervous system damage, and amputations. But people with diabetes who work with their health care providers and take care of their health can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications and premature death.
There are a few types of diabetes; Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational. Type 1 is also referred to as juvenile diabetes because it typically appears in adolescence. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives. Type 1 diabetes accounts for only 5 percent of people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases. This form of diabetes is caused by a combination of things; genetics, extra weight, specifically extra fat around the waist, and more. Gestational diabetes only appears in pregnant women and develops in 2 to 10 percent of all pregnancies. It usually disappears when a pregnancy is over. However, if not treated, it can cause problems for mothers and babies.
The CDC reports that healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic therapies for type 2 diabetes. Many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control blood glucose levels. Healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin injections are the basic therapies for type 1 diabetes. The amount of insulin taken must be balanced with food intake and daily activities. Blood glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood glucose testing. People should see a health care provider who will monitor their diabetes control and help them learn to manage their diabetes. People with diabetes also may see ophthalmologists for eye examinations; podiatrists for routine foot care; and dietitians and diabetes educators who teach the skills needed for daily diabetes management
For more information, check out:
Diabetes Month Infographic