Trina Thompson: Diabetes, a 24-hour a day job
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:20 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:20 a.m.
In Florida, the prevalence of diabetes among adults has increased more than 80 percent in the past decade. More than three million adults in Florida have hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels), including an estimated 1.5 million Floridians with diagnosed diabetes and approximately 500,000 more adults with undiagnosed diabetes and an additional 913,272 adults with pre-diabetes, which is more than the total populations in Alaska, District of Columbia, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
The majority of adults with diabetes in Florida have type 2 diabetes. Across the nation, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has been fueled by the sharp increase in obesity. Type 2 diabetes was once thought of as an adult disease, but as more of our children develop unhealthy weight, more are developing type 2 diabetes as a consequence. Yet, this doesn’t have to be. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or, at the very least, delayed with lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy and being active. Even small changes can help. To put it in perspective, if a 200 pound person loses 10-15 pounds, they can cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half.
Some Floridians have had to battle diabetes from youth, as in the case of type 1 diabetes, also called juvenile diabetes. In fact, more than 76,000 Floridians have type 1 diabetes, which requires constant attention to stay alive. Campus organizations such as Students with Diabetes, born out of the University of South Florida and local chapters of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, provide critical support to youth with type 1 in Florida.
Diabetes is a condition that can affect the entire lifespan. Many expecting moms are faced with a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the pregnancy; however, both mother and baby are at risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity for the rest of their lives.
The dedicated researchers and medical care providers across Florida and the nation are working to provide patients with the tools they need to live healthy lives. However, every Floridian has a role in supporting prevention, research, and management of diabetes. On World Diabetes Day, November 14, the Florida Department of Health will host an event at the historic State Capitol to bring awareness to the burden of diabetes on the state and to empower Floridians to take charge of diabetes. Join us on this important day to bring greater awareness to diabetes and prevention of such a debilitating disease.
Diabetes and Prevention Control Program
Florida Department of Health
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