Diabetes is Taking Years off the Lives of Americans

Diabetes can take years off your life.  And we don’t mean that in a good way.  Unlike a “Miracle Cream” that can make one look years younger, research has shown that Diabetes is shortening the life span of Americans.  In fact, the average 50 year old Diabetes patient lives about 8.5 years less than a person who does not have the disease.  This was revealed in a study by the National Academy on an Aging Society and confirmed by Sanofi-Aventis U.S, which is a pharmaceutical company.

The University of Michigan conducts a study every two years.  This particular information was provided by them after surveying more than 20,000 Americans over the age of fifty.  The report was published in December 2010.

The study found that people who are diagnosed with the disease at age 90 may lose one year, while those diagnosed at 60 could lose almost five and a half.

More than 24 million Americans, including children and adults, suffer from Diabetes.  The disease increases your risk of kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease, amputation, blindness or stroke.  Many people die from these conditions and according to the American Diabetes Association, having this disease increases the risk of death by 65 %.

There are three types of Diabetes. Type 1, commonly known as “Juvenile Diabetes,” is usually diagnosed in children but can affect adults as well, although less frequently. It requires injections of insulin to treat.  This happens when your body is not able to produce its own insulin due to damage to or loss of the cells in the pancreas which create insulin.  There is no known prevention technique for type 1 Diabetes.

When Type 1 Diabetes occurs in an adult, it is called “Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults”, or LADA.  Often, due to the age of the patient, this condition is misdiagnosed as Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes is generally diagnosed in patients over 45 years of age, whose bodies have developed a resistance to insulin, causing a lower insulin secretion from the pancreas.  The reason that the body becomes resistant to and produces less insulin is not known, but is thought to be a change in the insulin receptors in the body.  Type 2 Diabetes can often be treated with medication, diet and exercise.

Gestational Diabetes can occur at any time during a woman’s pregnancy and often disappears after the pregnancy.  This, however, can lead to other problems for the mother later such as increased risk for heart disease or other health issues.  This also increases a woman’s probability of developing type 2 Diabetes.

There are also about 40 million people in the United States who suffer from pre-diabetes.  These are patients whose blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not quite high enough to be diagnosed with the disease itself.  The result of pre-diabetes is often a later diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes but many patients suffer with pre-diabetes for years before a formal diagnoses is made and traditional treatment offered.

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