Why are the number of people with diabetes increasing?
Part of the sharp increase in diabetes could be attributed to better screening. More people are now aware of the signs of diabetes and know when to bring it up with the family doctor, who can then determine if diabetes testing is needed.
The rising rate of obesity has also been a been contributor to diabetes. Excess body weight makes it harder for the body to react to insulin, thus making it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. There is a strong link between being overweight and developing diabetes.
The incidence of type 2 Diabetes has been increasing so steadily that it's been called an "epidemic".
The incidence of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has also seen a sharp increase. Previously called "adult-onset diabetes", this disease is now also making a marked appearance in children and teens!
A key factor in both the prevention or development of diabetes is lifestyle choices: eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are all things that can be controlled. Modern society offers many temptations to lead a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle. Fast food is easily accessible and cheap; convenient transportation means that we rarely need to walk or bike anywhere; and many people work long hours, making it difficult to make healthy choices like cooking a nutritious meal or going to the gym. Poor diet and lack of exercise can very easily lead to extra weight gain - and increased risk of diabetes.
However, diabetes has a major effect on a person's lifestyle. Once you have the disease you are forced to make changes. Treatment is expensive and the disease increases your risk of also developing additional complications including heart disease and kidney disease.
The number of people being diagnosed with diabetes is increasing - but that doesn't meant that each of us as individuals is powerless. Prevention - or at least the delay - of diabetes is best. Learn how to lower your risk of getting diabetes.