Diabetes on the Rise in America

Diabetes and obesity unfortunately is on the rise in the United States and Florida is one of the many states struggling with rising numbers.  According to the most recent date released by the CDC 29 million adults live with diabetes.  The number of people with diabetes has risen since the prior statistics of 2011; Florida has also risen in statistics of diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity.  The CDC estimates that a quarter of these adults living with diabetes in the United States don’t even know they are sick, meaning they haven’t been diagnosed.

An additional 86 million American adults have what’s called “pre-diabetes,” which means that their blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet on the level of diabetes. Almost all (90 %) of these Americans don’t know the dangers and risks of diabetes and obesity.  The CDC estimates that 15 to 30% of people with pre-diabetes will develop diabetes within five years if they don’t exercise and lose weight.  Pre-diabetes can be easily screened for by fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1C and insulin levels during routine physical exams. 

“These new numbers are alarming and underscore the need for an increased focus on reducing the burden of diabetes in our country,” Ann Albright, the CDC’s director of the division of diabetes translation, said in a press release. “It’s urgent that we take swift action to effectively treat and prevent this serious disease.”

Exercise, nutrition, relaxation techniques can all aid in fighting diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity.  Dr. Kahlil Shillingford is a Florida gastric bypass surgeon who specializes in obesity surgery.  Although surgery may not be the answer for all who struggle with diabetes and obesity; there are many patients who can benefit from obesity surgery and have reversal or significant reduction of severity of diabetes.  It has been shown that the gastric bypass surgery can reverse diabetes in certain patients.  Careful monitoring with annual physical exams or more frequent visits to the doctor is important for patients with risk factors such as obesity or a family history of diabetes.  It is important to keep an open relationship with your doctor and try various approaches to combat obesity and diabetes.

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