The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published the first WHO Global Report on Diabetes as a call to action due to the number of adults living with diabetes nearly quadrupling since 1980. Public Health Minute has done multiple segments with researchers throughout the country about various topics regarding Diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes:

Type 1 usually develops in childhood because the body does not produce enough insulin. The cause is unknown.

Type 2 typically develops in adulthood due to insulin resistance. The cause is usually high body weight and sugar consumption, and not enough exercise.

Rates of Type 1 diabetes tend to remain steady and are treatable through regular insulin injections. However, despite massive advances in research and awareness of Type 2 diabetes, its prevalence is still increasing at an alarming rate (http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/slides/long_term_trends.pdf).  Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance in which the body is unable to respond to insulin properly. Insulin promotes glucose absorption from the blood and into the body. This is important since overly high glucose levels in the blood result in significant negative physical effects. While there are now numerous medications that an individual can take to manage their diabetes successfully and reduce the levels of glucose in the blood, the long-term effects of having the disease do not disappear. Over time the effects of elevated glucose levels include cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney failure, ulcers, and vision loss. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/).

This is a crucially important topic precisely because type 2 diabetes is almost entirely preventable. There are more than 29 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes (http://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfactsheet/), and up to a quarter of them may not even know it. We need to be providing education to parents and children about the risks of diabetes and how to prevent it through reducing sugar intake and exercising regularly.

Listen below to Public Health Minute’s segments on diabetes :

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