One in 4 has it- What is it and are you one of them?
You could be walking around with it and not even know it – nearly 8 million Americans are. Diabetes is a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. In fact, a recent study found diabetes is the most expensive disease in America with a cost of $101 billion in 2013 alone. Type 2 diabetes is the most common kind – often triggered by obesity and lack of physical activity. The risk of getting it goes up with age.
While the statistics are sobering, Andrea Herman, MD, says there’s hope.
“The good news is that our treatment of diabetes has changed quite a bit because our medicines have improved,” said Dr. Herman, a primary care provider with CHI Health Clinic “The key thing is that there’s evidence that if someone can lose a relatively small amount of weight – 5-7 percent of their total body weight – they can markedly decrease their chances of becoming diabetic.”
Dr. Herman said weight loss is the first – and best – way to battle diabetes. New and improved medications also can help.
“In the past, the problem was that some diabetes medicines would cause weight gain,” Dr. Herman said. “However, several of the newer medicines have a tendency to cause weight loss at the same time they’re treating diabetes. Obviously, that’s a huge improvement.”
Lifestyle changes may reduce the need for medications. A few sessions with a Diabetes Educator is an essential investment to controlling diabetes.
As with most diseases, diabetes can best be treated if diagnosed early. Talk to your doctor if you experience fatigue, feel thirsty all the time, frequently need to go to the bathroom or feel hungry even though you are eating.