Diabetes is a chronic condition that, if left untreated, can cause serious health complications and lead to greater risk of potentially fatal issues such as heart disease or stroke. Diabetes affects the way that the internal body processes sugar. Statistics gather that there are over 30 million adults that currently have diabetes and about 23 percent of cases that are actually undiagnosed. That is a staggering number considering the severity of the condition itself.
The number of sufferers who have been diagnosed has doubled in the last 25 years, which isn’t the type of health-improving news our society wants to hear. Despite the fact that the prevalence of diabetes is continuing to rise, there is good news in relation to proper screenings and diagnosis of the disease.
A recent study shows that the amount of cases of diabetes that are missed or diagnosed improperly has gone down from 16 percent to 10. This means that understanding the functions and symptoms of prediabetes and diabetes is becoming much more obvious to a wider range of medical practitioners. For those who haven’t had any routine health screenings in quite some time, or live in communities that have a preponderance of in-access when it comes to basic, fundamental health care options, the amount of cases that remain undiagnosed is staggering.
Diagnosis And Treatment
The study was conducted by researchers at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and they concluded that their findings are indicative of greater opportunities for treatment. “Understanding the proportion of diabetes causes that are actually undiagnosed, and who those patient groups are, is really critical to allocation of public health resources,” says Elizabeth Selvin, Ph.D. and the lead professor on the study. “Our results suggest that targeted screening in these populations and increasing health coverage could help make sure that persons who have diabetes receive a diagnosis and get the appropriate treatment that they need.”
The study used two sets of data from periods 1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2014, which included over 7,000 and 17,000 participants, respectively. The information was obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. The researchers studied the diabetic threshold for further clarification on false positives regarding the undiagnosed population.
In order to inform the general public of the health concerns that diabetes can bring to sufferers’ lives, we must start to look at why certain foods are available in specific areas where those with a lower income and minority landscape are so affected. The influx of food that we are surrounded by as a culture is the top contributing factor to the onslaught of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Food is available to us in copious amounts and, because of how addictive many of these foods are made, people tend to have a fixation with and preoccupation with them. We’re not properly educated on food as we should be and for this reason many people continue to use food as a bandage or salve and have incredibly poor dietary habits as a result.
The fact that the occurrence of diabetes has grown to such numbers, and the main issue that brings about diabetes is an inability to process sugar, is no coincidence. Processed junk food is packed full of carbohydrates and sugar. Defeating the obesity and diabetes epidemic isn’t possible without educating larger society and giving everyone access to healthy options.