Hear no diabetes, speak no diabetes, get photo from Flickr.
According to the CDC, 1/4 of Americans have prediabetes and don't know it.
Wait a minute. Back up and read that again. 1 out of 4?
Here's another statistic. The rate of people who already have diabetes has gone up by 90%. And WebMD says that may be an underestimate. (They also say the number of people who already have prediabetes is 1 out of 3.)
Type II Diabetes: easy to control, dangerous to ignoreEven though yes, I know, there are tons of people out there who are either at risk or already have the disease and don't know it, this still surprises me.
The trouble is that if you're reading this post, you probably are not one of the people with prediabetes, because you are interested in regular exercise and a healthy diet. But I will guarantee that someone you know -- maybe someone you love -- is one of the statistics.
I mean, damn! In the early stages at least, prediabetes and Type II diabetes are easily controllable disorders. And they can be controlled by the individual; it's not a situation where you have to put yourself in the hands of others and take a bucketful of weird and expensive drugs with powerful side effects.
People who know better and don't botherIt's frustrating. As an example, take this guy I know. Extremely well-educated (well, I assume lawyers are educated, they sure know a lot of words I don't) so you would think he could bother to read about the risks of Type II diabetes, you would think he would bother to find out the minimal steps necessary to deal with the condition. The only concession he made to his condition was to take his medication. (Yes, he did switch to lite beer, and he did minimize the amount of red wine to a couple of drinks a night, but I don't call those concessions.)
The thing is that Type II diabetes is one of those diseases that you CAN do something about: diet and exercise and (definitely 3rd in the list) medication can control the symptoms and progression of the disease.
So why are there so many people out there who can't be bothered?
Diabetes doesn't go away if you ignore it!
My anger in this case is all the stronger because if you don't take care of the situation, You Get Worse. Diabetes leads to serious and irreversible problems, especially when you combine it with alcohol. This lawyer is now forced to listen to doctors use phrases like "poor prognosis" and "experimental studies." His younger daughter is seventeen, and he'll be lucky to see her graduate from high school.
I don't know how (or even if it's possible) to get someone to listen when they're risking their life through sheer inertia. Maybe this post will help someone to become 'scared straight' or whatever.
Someone to talk to about diabetesMyHealthVillage is hosting a series of diabetes chats, starting tonight.
The Chats will be hosted by Cindy Sears (RN, CDE) -- diabetes educator with years of experience working with persons with diabetes at Capital Regional Medical Center and private physician practices in Missouri, who has participated in a research study for rural primary care practices funded by the Missouri Foundation.
To participate in the diabetes chats, simply go to www.myhealthvillage.com and join the Chat on any of the following dates and times.
Tuesday, 11/18 at 8 p.m. ET -- Insulin Myths and Realities
Thursday, 11/20 at 1 p.m. ET -- Medication Know-How
Friday, 11/21 at 11 a.m. ET - Pondering Privacy
Tuesday, 11/25 at 8 p.m. ET -- Here Come the Holidays!
Okay, end of rantThis post was me ranting because someone I know is dying and it could have been avoided. It is inexpressibly frustrating to not be able to help with something like this.
I can't be the only person with friends or family who are digging their grave with their teeth, as it were. Anyone have any good suggestions on how to handle the frustration? I don't think there's much we can do to help people who don't want to change.