Diabetes affects millions of Americans across the board and does not discriminate age, gender, race as well as ethnicity. The latest statistics published tell us that about 9% of the US population has diabetes which is about 29 million people. From this incredible number of diabetes patients, about eight million were undiagnosed. This statistic is alarming. The statistics also tell us that if you are over the age of 65, your chances of getting diabetes are much higher. It’s estimated that 11.8 million senior’s citizens have diabetes. In younger adults, we are looking at folks under the age of 20, the estimated diagnosed diabetes patients was about 23,500 with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Can Diabetes cause death? The answer to that question is a resounding YES! Diabetes ranks #7 as we compare it to other diseases that cause death. In 201o, approximately 69,000 deaths were attributed to diabetes as the cause of death. When you look at the underlying cause of death or what could be called the secondary reason for the death, the numbers increase dramatically. Diabetes was the secondary cause in approximately 234,000 cases.
Can this disease be managed? That is an absolutely YES! With exercise, good nutrition and monitoring of one’s blood sugar levels, these morbid statistics can be altered so that Diabetes does not have to be a silent killer. Now more than ever, patients have access to clinical lab testing that can help monitor their blood sugar levels. A simple blood sugar test is very attainable but the long term blood sugar level may be difficult to get tested. Now with direct to consumer testing, Diabetes patients can get their Hemoglobin A1c levels tested without having to visit their doctor.
Hemoglobin A1c or what is referred to as Glycohemoglobin is glucose that is attached or bound to hemoglobin. Patients that have diabetes, have an increased amount of glucose bound to their hemoglobin. For diabetes patient, the Hemoglobin A1c test allows them to monitor their diabetes status because it represents what their glucose levels have been over a longer period of time. There is no exact number but most physicians estimate that it gives a picture of their glucose levels over a 2-3 month period. If patients Hemoglobin A1c levels are above 7.5% - 8.0%, the patient will need to manage their diabetes better as this is a dangerously high Hemoglobin A1c value. The blood glucose levels a can also be measured to analyze one’s blood glucose as it represents their glucose levels to identify where they are at that moment. Most diabetes patients use a mobile glucometer which can measure immediate blood glucose levels. Serum glucose tests can be performed by a clinical laboratory which is a little more accurate than what you would get from a mobile glucometer.