Diabetes Is More Dangerous Than Thought
Diabetes is thought not to be as dangerous as it is in reality, shows the results of a recent survey, which highlights the need to educate the public about the serious dangers of diabetes.
The survey was conducted by the American Diabetes Association asking people to rank various diseases on a 10 points scale. Cancer and heart disease got 9 and 10 points, but the level of diabetes danger got only 4 and 5 points. Results show that the public is not properly educated about diabetes that could lead to lack of attention to the disease and treatment.
Survey participants mentioned that people with diabetes live a healthy life, they look full of life, there are lots of medications and easy-to-use tests for them, and there is no one dying from diabetes.The American Diabetes Association found the opinions wrong and wants everyone to understand that this disease leads to numerous other illnesses that can disable the body for the rest of one's life and lead to death.
It is already proven that diabetes can lead to many other diseases such as depression, sleep disorders, stroke, heart disease, vision and hearing loss, liver and kidney diseases, and sexual dysfunction. It is also known that regular diabetes monitoring, doctor visits, proper medication, diet and exercise can improve diabetes control and help a person with the disease live a healthier life. However, regular diabetes treatment is very expensive, even for those insured. Besides, people don't really understand how serious diabetes is, thus allocating less time and attention than needed to improve quality of life.
Previously, ADA's message to public was aimed at making people understand that there is treatment for diabetes. The message did not completely relay how deadly the disease is because health professionals don't really want to scare the public. However, this survey lead to the American Diabetes Association's public message that diabetes can be frightening. Starting in 2009, ADA's campaign will educate people about the dangerous effects of diabetes - but the campaign will still be explaining that the disease is treatable.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, 24 million Americans suffer from diabetes, which is 8% of entire US population. Most sufferers are those who are above 60 years old - 25% of this age group suffer from type 2 diabetes. There are about 57 million people who have blood sugar levels out of control, which indicates early signs of diabetes.
Diabetes occurs because the body is unable to control blood sugar levels and use sugar to produce energy. This happens because of two reasons - either because the body is unable to use insulin to resolve sugar (type 2 diabetes), or because there is a very small amount of insulin to work out sugar levels (type 1 diabetes). Type 2 is the most common form of the disease, accounting from 90 to 95% of all cases. This type mainly occurs in older people because of unhealthy lifestyle and lack of exercise. Type 1 mainly occurs in children, because the immune system destroys insulin creating cells.
Written by Ruzanna Haroutiunyan
This page is updated on April 22, 2013