Diabetes: Everything You Need to Know

Diabetes: Everything You Need to Know

World Health Organization (WHO) says the number of Diabetes cases per capita in St.Lucia is an epidemic

Long ago when the word diabetes was spoken the mind instantly gravitated towards the older segment of the population. Today the demographic has either shifted or technology has made testing for and diagnosing diabetes more efficient and so both young and old are afflicted. But regardless of the reason, the numbers are doubling and the statistics are disconcerting.

Stats and Facts

Data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF.org) shows there were 10,200 cases of Diabetes in St.Lucia in 2014. Close to fifty (47.3) St.Lucian adults died of diabetes last year and there are 2,600 undiagnosed cases.

In 2013 there were 92 diabetes related deaths on the island and about 2,500 undiagnosed cases.

The Diabetes Epidemic is Global

415 million adults are currently living with diabetes and  IDF  says that number is projected  to climb to over 640 million by 2040.

  • In 2014, 4.9 million people died of diabetes
  • Every 7 seconds one person dies from diabetes
  • Diabetes is more prevalent among  20-79 year olds
  • IMG_2349 One in every 12 are diabetic
  • 1 in 2 people do not know they have it

 The World Health Organization (WHO) says:  
In 2012, 1.5 million people worldwide died of diabetes with more than 80% of them occurring in low- and middle-income countries. They also project that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030 and that deaths will double between 2005 and 2030.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says:
More than 29 million Americans have diabetes and1 in 4 don’t know they have it.

Blacks are almost twice as likely to develop diabetes as whites
The prevalence of diabetes among blacks has quadrupled during the past 30 years
Among blacks age 20 and older, about 2.3 million are diabetic
Blacks with diabetes are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to experience greater disability from diabetes-related complications such as amputations, adult blindness, kidney failure, and increased risk of heart disease and stroke
Death rates for blacks with diabetes are 27 percent higher than for whites

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. The body of a person with diabetes have difficulty producing insulin. It either does not produce enough insulin or their body is unable to effectively use the insulin it produces causing sugar to build up in the blood.

There are two types of Diabetes


In pre-diabetic patients, the blood sugar level is higher than normal but isn’t high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

Type1 Diabetes

According to Diabetes.org, Type 1 Diabetes previously known as Juvenile Diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease. What happens is that the body does not produce insulin, the hormone needed to convert sugar, starches and other foods into energy.  As a result the body’s immune system is unable to fight viruses or bacteria.

Although there is no cure, with insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

Symptoms of Type 1Diabetes

Diabetes usually develop quickly, over a few days to weeks. While it can be inherited, most people who have the disease have no family history of it.

Another Type of Diabetes is Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is first recognized during pregnancy.

 2014 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the prevalence of gestational diabetes is as high as 9.2%.

Diabetes can affect the developing fetus throughout the pregnancy and can result in birth defects. There is also an increased rate of miscarriages. Because gestational diabetes does not show symptoms, one needs to be tested for the condition. Treatment for Gestational diabetes include dietary and lifestyle measures to keep blood sugar at a safe level.  Although Gestational diabetes cannot be prevented, maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy is paramount to keeping the condition under control.

And now the Most Prevalent…Type 2 Diabetes

This is the most common form and is a very serious disease worldwide. One-third of those with Type 2 diabetes are unaware that they have it. In Type 2 Diabetes the blood glucose (sugar) levels rise higher than normal — also called hyperglycemia. The body also fails to use insulin properly known as insulin resistance.

The symptoms of Diabetes vary from person to person and may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
diet healthy food studio isolated
diet healthy food studio isolated

There is no cure for Diabetes but it can be controlled

Although there is no cure for Type 2 diabetes, it can be treated. Studies show regular physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes because of its close association with obesity. It is highly recommended that you eat healthy, be active and maintain a healthy weight and test regularly blood glucose levels at home. In some cases, oral medication and/or insulin must be taken to control sugar levels in the blood.

Approximately 40 percent of people with type 2 diabetes require insulin injections

If Diabetes remain untreated these complications may develop:

Insomnia: People who have diabetes often have poor sleep habits, including difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

Diabetic coma — also known as hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome — this is a serious complication that can happen to a person with diabetes who is ill or whose body is stressed.

Heart Disease: A person with diabetes has a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease.

Diabetic nephropathy — this is kidney disease resulting from diabetes. It is the number one cause of kidney failure.Almost a third of people with diabetes develop diabetic nephropathy.



Loss of toes, feet and legs

Take Care, Take Action…

Remember prevention is always better than cure. If you suspect you or someone you know have diabetes, see a doctor.

You will never believe how one man found out he had diabetes! Read about it here in Excerpt From My Journal


Leave a Reply