November is National Diabetes Month and throughout the month, DHEC’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health Division is highlighting the impact diabetes has on the citizens in South Carolina (SC) and millions of Americans across the country.
According to the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, SC ranks seventh highest in the nation in the percent of the adult population with diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes increases with age – a dramatic increase can be seen among those 45 and older. In 2014, three people died each day from diabetes – that is one death from diabetes every eight hours. Research has shown that improving food choices, a modest weight loss (5-7 percent of body weight) and getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly helps to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
What are the different types of diabetes?
- Prediabetes – a wake-up call that you are on the path to diabetes. Prediabetes means your blood glucose level is higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes often can be reversed through lifestyle changes such as increased physical activity and weight loss. The earlier the diagnosis, the more likely it can be reversed or prevented. When you have prediabetes, it puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. But you can take action to lower those risks by enrolling in a local National Diabetes Prevention Program.
- Type 1 diabetes – usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% – 10% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. The body breaks down the sugars and starches you eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.
- Type 2 diabetes – the most common form of diabetes and approximately 90% – 95% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. If you have type 2 diabetes your body is not able to use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance. Some people with type 2 can control their blood glucose with healthy eating and being active. But, your doctor may need to also prescribe oral or injectable medications to help you meet your target blood glucose levels. Some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.
- Gestational diabetes – During pregnancy – usually around the 24th week – many women develop gestational diabetes. A diagnosis of gestational diabetes doesn’t mean that you had diabetes before you conceived, or that you will have diabetes after giving birth. Women with gestational diabetes have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. But it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice regarding blood glucose (blood sugar) levels while you’re planning your pregnancy, so you and your baby both remain healthy.
To learn more about your risk for diabetes, click here to take an online risk assessment. For more information on how to prevent or manage diabetes in SC, please email email@example.com or call 803-898-1934 to speak with someone in DHEC’s Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity and School Health Division.
Additional Resources to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes