According to the International Diabetes Federation’s 2019 data, there are an estimated 463 million adults in the world living with diabetes.
Data from the National Institutes of Health as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study of 2017 shows there are 30.3 million people in the United States with diabetes. That is roughly 9.4 percent of the population. You might not think that a little less than 10 percent isn’t so bad, but it is. When you see where we are going, it is a problem.
Twenty-five percent of the people with diabetes don’t know they have the disease.
It is even more of a problem because 84.1 million Americans 18 years old and older have pre-diabetes. They have elevated blood glucose readings and don’t know it.
Untreated diabetes can cause health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, vision issues, and nerve damage that can lead to amputations.
Since type 2 diabetes is a condition of too much sugar in the blood, it affects your entire body. From loss of eyesight to foot ulcers and the inability to perform sexually, diabetes can rob you of your quality of life and ultimately be a condition of your death.
Many risk factors load the gun of diabetes.
Ethnic factors include being from any of the following racial groups:
- African Americans
- Alaska Natives
- American Indians
- Asian Americans
- Native Hawaiians
- Pacific Islanders
The list above isn’t to say that White or Europeans do not get diabetes. They do.
Other factors increase one’s risk of getting the disease. Those include:
Family history of the disease (linked to dietary patterns of the family) as well as:
- Genetic mutations
- Hormonal diseases
- Certain medicines
Other risk factors include:
- being overweight or obese
- age 45 or older
- have high blood pressure
- have a low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, a high level of triglycerides.
- have a history of gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
- not physically active
- have a history of heart disease or stroke
- have depression
- have PCOS known as polycystic ovary syndrome
- have dark, thick, and velvety skin around your neck or armpits called acanthosis nigricans
If you have risk factors for pre-diabetes, it doesn’t mean that you will get diabetes. What is means is that it is a wake-up call to make changes to your diet and lifestyle. There is also good news for those who currently have diabetes. Through a diet and lifestyle change, you may be able to reduce your chance of getting diabetes and possibly reverse diabetes.
Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and lead a research team to discover how to reduce the problem of pre-diabetes and reverse type 2 diabetes.
“A healthy plant-based diet is the best way to improve—and sometimes reverse—diabetes. And this year that’s more important than ever. In a COVID-19 world, diabetes makes everything that much riskier. When you tackle diabetes with a healthy diet, everything gets better,” said Barnard.
The findings of his research team have been published not only in respected medical journals but in a ground-breaking book that is layman-friendly.
“Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes – The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs” is a life-changing, life-saving book. By following the steps outlined in Barnard’s book, I saw my blood glucose levels drop by 100 points within the first week and lost 15 pounds in the first three weeks of changing my diet and lifestyle. I was able to reverse my type 2 diabetes and be declared diabetes-free within three months. The improvement of my health isn’t exclusive. People who have adopted a healthy, whole-food, plant-based diet have seen changes to their overall health and the quality of their life.
Instead of making November Diabetes Awareness Month, you can try making it Diabetes Reversal Month by taking steps to change your diet and lifestyle. I highly suggest ordering a copy of Dr. Barnard’s book for you or a loved one.