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Statistics are weighty in the battle against diabetes

When I write about diseases or serious health problems such as diabetes, statistics are necessary to inform and warn at the same time.

 
Dr. Timothy Moore

If you don’t understand data and statistics, you’ll discover that any collection of information is necessary to track just about anything: populations, animals, money, business, religion, deaths, median household income, diseases, etc. You get the point. It also separates fact from fiction.

Sometimes data can be confusing. But when I cite facts, figures and percentages, it is necessary to prove a point or highlight the seriousness of the topic of discussion. For example, when I write about diseases or serious health problems such as diabetes, statistics are necessary to inform and warn at the same time.

Don’t be alarmed, but 1 in 3 people will become diabetic. If you were born after the year 2000, 1 in 3 will suffer from the disease. But then, if you’re African American, your chances of becoming a diabetic are 1 in 2. Now that’s scary.

So many people suffer from diabetes until it is almost mind-boggling. It has become widespread and a pandemic, in my opinion, waiting to happen. In the United States alone, 1 in 3 adults could have diabetes by the year 2050, according to a 2010 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) also cites some grim statistics for the country’s diabetic population. Its National Diabetes Fact Sheet was released in January 2011 and points to the gravity of the problem in the United States: A total of 25.8 million children and adults – 8.3 percent of the population – have diabetes.

Check this out: In 2010, at least 18.8 million people were diagnosed with diabetes. Another 7 million were undiagnosed, 79 million were pre-diabetic, and, according to the ADA, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older. Need I say more?

Let’s look at the numbers and percentages for men and women with diabetes. Thirteen million, or 11.8 percent of all men aged 20 years or older have diabetes, compared to 12.6 million, or 10.8 percent of all women aged 20 years or older. Stats for diabetes are also broken down by race.

Diabetes, however, is a serious disease that affects all peoples. The diabetic could suffer from heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney failure, nervous system disease (Neuropathy), and amputation. And the costs continue to skyrocket. In 2007 alone, the total costs for diagnosed diabetes was $174 billion. For direct medical costs: $116 billion. And indirect medical costs (disability, work loss, premature mortality): $58 billion.

As a nation of various cultures and ethnic groups, no one has been able to escape the clutches of diabetes. We are becoming fatter and fatter, and some people, believe it or not, are straddling the fence of morbid obesity. They’ve become gluttons and disregard the warning signs that are visible everywhere. The mirror image should be a telltale sign that something is wrong.

There is no harm in going to the doctor to fix the problem. But choose the right one. Most medical doctors, however, are professionals who explain to their diabetic patients the need for medicine and nutrition that works and how food affects the body. But there are some doctors who assume that everyone is diabetic until proven otherwise.

The first thing that a diabetic must do is learn to listen to his or her body and know which foods are causing spikes in their blood sugar. A food allergy test is also good to determine which foods may be causing allergic reactions. This test is the first assault on blood sugar spikes.

A healthy, daily portion of fruits and vegetables are good for diabetics. But then some fruits can be as deadly as poison, because they can spike, or elevate, blood sugar levels. Even if you take more diabetic medication or more insulin, it wouldn’t matter. The problem will still persist.

You can eat a balanced nutritional meal that’s designed to help you conquer diabetes or control it. If you change your eating habits and your lifestyle, for example, your doctor might consider reducing your medication or taking you off medication altogether.

If your blood sugar is high, make sure you stay away from sodas, fruit juices, watermelon, honeydews, cantaloupes, grapes, figs, dates, fried foods, pastries, cakes and pies. Then you won’t have to worry about becoming a statistic.

(Dr. Timothy Moore teaches nutrition, heart disease and diabetes reversal through a plant-based lifestyle. He is a professional speaker, wellness coach and personal plant-based chef. He can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit him on the Web sites at www.cheftimothymoore.com or www.twitter.com/cheftimmoore.)

 

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