Diabetes affects about 1: 10 people in the United States. That’s a whopping 36 million people. Of this total number, 90 – 95% of them have type 2 diabetes. The very rapid increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes has been called an epidemic and is very closely tied to the increased incidence of obesity in America today.
Type 2 diabetes is most likely to develop after age 45 but has also become quite common in teens and young adults. As noted above, the greatest risk factor is obesity which affects 42% of Americans, or 141 million people. To make a diagnosis of diabetes, your doctor can check your blood glucose level at your next office visit. More importantly, your A1c is the gold standard for diagnosing diabetes because your blood glucose check reflects the level of sugar in your blood at the time of checking while your A1c reflects your average blood sugar levels in the last 90 days.
An A1c of 5.7% or below is considered normal, meaning there is no risk for type 2 diabetes. Values between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate pre-diabetes and an A1c value above 6.5% on more than one occasion confirms a diagnosis of diabetes. An A1c check can be part of your annual physical, especially if you are over 40 years old and have a history of high blood pressure
The Game Plan:
Your best defense against developing diabetes is living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight. These might sound like boring solutions but this formula works for almost all healthcare situations. The game plan is as follows:
The incidence of type 2 diabetes has exploded with the increasing obesity in America. Many more people are pre-diabetic and don’t even know it. Since offense is your best defense, make sure you get your A1c checked at your next doctor’s visit, eat right and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle is far cheaper than all the money you will pay your doctor and pharmacist to control your diabetes and all its complications.