Today there are approximately 21 million Americans that have been diagnosed with diabetes, 8.1 million more diabetics who are undiagnosed, and 86 million more who are pre-diabetic. According to the American Diabetes Association diabetes is currently the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. Most American’s are aware of the disease but many don’t know the facts. There are two different types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 is usually diagnosed during childhood or in adolescence. Only 5% of patients are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The pancreas of a type 1 diabetic does not produce insulin at all. Insulin is a hormone that your body requires to move glucose from your blood into the cells of the body. Glucose is a simple sugar the body uses for energy that comes from the natural process of metabolism.
Approximately 1 in 7 patients with type 1 also have a condition called type 2 polyglandular autoimmune syndrome. These patients may have thyroid disease, malfunctioning adrenal glands, and possibly other immune disorders.
Patients with type 2 are insulin resistant and don’t use insulin properly. In the beginning stages of type 2 diabetes the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for the misuse but over time it isn’t able to keep up and make enough to keep the blood glucose levels balanced.
If someone has an immediate family member such as a parent, sibling, son, or daughter who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, their risk of developing type 1 diabetes increases significantly. Their risk increases 10 to 20 times the risk of the general population or possibly higher.
Interestingly the risk of a child developing type 1 diabetes is lower if it is the mother who has diabetes rather than the father. If the father has type 1 diabetes the child’s risk is roughly the same as the average American (1 in 10). If the mother has type 1 diabetes their risk drops to 1 in 25 and if the mother is over 25 it drops to 1 in 100.
The odds of developing or inheriting type 2 diabetes are a bit tougher to track. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center multiple cases of type 2 diabetes in a family can also be due to environmental risk factors such as obesity, diet, and leading a sedentary lifestyle versus sharing the diabetic gene. Due to the fact type 2 diabetes is the more common form, patients with the disease are more likely to know a relative with type 2 diabetes as well. That makes it easier to suppose that diabetes runs in the family.
Generally for individuals with a sibling diagnosed with type 2 diabetes their risk of developing the disease is about the same as the general population. However if the patient who developed type 2 diabetes despite being lean, their sibling’s odds double. For people who have a parent and a sibling diagnosed with the disease, their odds jumps to nearly three times the general population’s risk.
Whether you have a loved one who is diagnosed with diabetes or you’ve been diagnosed as pre-diabetic or diabetic it is important to take healthy steps towards living a healthy lifestyle. With proper lifestyle management a diabetic can live a long and healthy life.
– Limit high fat foods (cheese, fried foods, fast foods)
– Eat more fresh produce
– Eat smaller portions
– Be active at least 30 minutes a day 5 days a week
– Take the stairs
– Park in the back of the parking lot
Jennie Khonsari – 214-770-6872 – Texas CPR Training – www.texascpr.com