Diabetes is without a doubt, the most significant health scourge of the modern world. Year after year, the percentage of the population that suffers from this costly disease seems to increase, as our society becomes more obese and less physically active. With diabetes affecting 29 million Americans and counting, at a cost of $7,900 per person per year, it is arguably the largest financial burden on our medical system.
(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)
Unfortunately this health crisis about to get a lot worse, because according to a recent study conducted by the CDC, there is a shocking number of Americans who are living with the precursor to this disease, known as prediabetes. And it turns out that the vast majority of the people who have prediabetes are completely unaware of their condition.
The report found that as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, representing 9.4 percent of the population. Another 84.1 million people have prediabetes, the condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes if left untreated.
The rate of new diabetes diagnoses remains steady even as the disease continues to be a growing health burden in the country…
…In 2015, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and an estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in adults age 18 and older.
The report also found that nearly one in four adults in the United States are living with diabetes and do not know it and only 11.6 percent of adults with prediabetes knew they had the condition.
That certainly doesn’t bode well for the future. The percentage of the population that is afflicted with diabetes has essentially doubled over the last 20 years, and it looks like it could double again over the next generation. By some estimates, it could triple by the year 2050.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. If people know that they are at risk of developing diabetes, they’ll be more motivated to take measures that will turn their health around. By simply eating better food and exercising more, anyone can stave off type 2 diabetes.
But to see if you are currently suffering from prediabetes, you first have to know the symptoms. They include chronic fatigue, being abnormally hungry, unexpectedly losing weight despite eating a lot of food, and having to use the bathroom more frequently than usual.
Of course, there are a lot of things that can cause those symptoms, and the only surefire way to know is to visit a doctor. But if you want to know if a trip to the doctor is worth it, you can take a blood glucose test at home. Testing kits aren’t terribly expensive, and they are pretty simple to use. They will give you the ability to take what is called a “fasting plasma glucose test.”
All you have to do is avoiding eating for at least 8 hours, or take the blood test in the morning after you wake up. If the blood glucose monitor tells you that your glucose level is between 100 and 125 mg/dL, then there is a very good chance that you have prediabetes. If it’s any higher than that, then you may be among the 8.1 million Americans who have diabetes and don’t know it.
So if you’re overweight, out of shape, or have a history of diabetes in your family, it would be wise to get tested. It’s cheap and easy to do, and knowing the real status of your health could save you lots of pain and money over the remainder of your life.