Diabetes is on the rise. In the last 10 years, the number of people with diabetes has increased by 50 percent. This is due, in part, to the increase in overweight and obese American adults and children.
- Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the body either can't produce enough insulin (type 1), or doesn't use it properly (type 2). (The majority of people with diabetes have type 2.) Insulin is a hormone that helps your body use glucose (blood sugar) for energy, or helps store it for later use.
- Having a family history of diabetes increases your risk of developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Being overweight and inactive increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports that over 40 million Americans between the ages of 40 and 74 have prediabetes; however, prediabetes affects younger people as well. Research indicates that each year between 4 and 9 percent of people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before can develop gestational diabetes, which affects about 4 percent of all pregnant women.
- People with diabetes face an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
- The emotional toll: People with diabetes may be more prone to anxiety and depression.