Type 2 diabetes: Taking control roundup
Katie Carpenter | 10.15.13
The numbers are astounding -- more than 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and it's estimated that one in three could be treated for it by the year 2050.
The explosion of Type 2 diabetes can be attributed to another epidemic -- obesity. Type 2 diabetes is brought on by poor diet and a lack of physical activity -- the same combination that leads to obesity.
With more people developing the disease, experts have learned that sharing knowledge isn’t enough when it comes to educating people who have diabetes. Beating the disease demands strict self-management, which requires people to make long-lasting behavior changes. Over the years, diabetes education programs have shifted their aim toward helping people make those difficult changes to control their blood sugar and live better lives.
witf's Transforming Health initiative collaborated with the York Daily Record/Sunday News on the in-depth series Type 2 Diabetes: Taking Control, which delves into the lives of those affected by Type 2 diabetes. We explore why the disease has become so difficult for people to prevent and control, its massive costs on society, and what it takes to end this epidemic.
Catch up on all of the stories in the series in the link roundup below. And, you're invited to share your own story about living with diabetes at the bottom of the page.
Type 2 Diabetes: Taking Control:
Type 2 Diabetes: Taking Control
A multimedia series exploring why Type 2 diabetes has become so difficult for people to prevent and control, the massive cost society is paying and what it will take to end this epidemic.
Type 2 diabetes
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, there is no known cure. But it may be prevented and can be controlled by making the right lifestyle choices.
Photo by (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS -- KATE PENN)
Jayquan Flowers, 14, draws 14 units of insulin to inject himself with after lunch in September at Helen Thackston Charter School in York. Jayquan was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes when he was 11. His mother, father and 22-year-old brother also have the disease that's largely caused by obesity and physical inactivity.
RST: Type 2 diabetes exploding due to unhealthy lifestyles
More than 20 million Americans have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and it's estimated that one in three could be treated for it by the year 2050. Type 2 diabetes is brought on by poor diet and a lack of physical activity -- the same combination that leads to obesity.
Consider the facts:
- Each year, tens of thousands of Americans die from Type 2 diabetes, costing our country billions of dollars.
- More than 20 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. By 2050, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 will have the chronic disease.
- About 79 million people — more than one-third of U.S. adults — are pre-diabetic.
- People who have Type 2 are twice as likely to die as those who don’t.
- It cost the U.S. $245 billion in 2012, a 41 percent increase since 2007. The costs continue to skyrocket as more Americans become obese and sick with the disease.
Type 2 used to be known as adult-onset diabetes because it typically affected people 40 and older. Now, it affects kids in middle school and sometimes even toddlers.
Type 2 diabetes in children
Traditionally, type 2 diabetes has been diagnosed in people at least 40 years of age. But, lately, health care providers are finding more and more children with the disease.
Living with Type 2 diabetes: Too late to change?
For more than 15 years, Barbara Eckert knew she had Type 2 diabetes. But like some of the more than 20 million Americans who have the disease, she largely ignored it. She was overweight. She didn’t eat well. And she didn’t exercise. She knew that her lifestyle would likely lead to complications. She knew that time was running out. For just once in her life, she wanted to be healthy.
Education is most important weapon in fighting diabetes
There’s no medication or procedure that can cure type 2 diabetes. However, if people eat right, exercise and maintain a healthy weight, they can lower their chances of developing the disease or improve their chances of avoiding complications if they already have it.
Photo by Kate Penn, York Daily Record/Sunday News
Deb Owens goes over labs with renal dietitian Phyllis Peiffer as she receives dialysis on June 6, 2013. The treatments can take a toll. "Some days I feel like I could go run a marathon," Owens says. "Other days I need to go take a nap."
When ignored, diabetes can cause serious harm
Left untreated, type 2 diabetes can force people to undergo dialysis or receive a kidney transplant to stay alive. Five years ago, Deb Owens’ kidneys failed as a result of poorly controlled diabetes and she had to start dialysis. The procedure — which she has for 3½ hours a day, three days a week — has taken over her life. It has drained her energy and forced her to stop working, something she loves, as she waits for a transplant.
Type 2 diabetes: Stories from the community
Personal stories shared by the community about living with Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes affects families, hitting youth
Jayquan Flowers, 14, said he was stressed and scared when learned he had diabetes three years ago. The illness has affected generations of his family. His mother, father and older brother also have the disease. Experts say it doesn’t matter what age a person is diagnosed. Average lifespan is 25 years after diagnosis. Jayquan’s mother, Annette, recently decided she had to make some healthy changes to better control her diabetes and to set a good example for her kids.
Tell us: What is your personal experience living with Type 2 diabetes? We invite you to share your story here.
Learn more about diabetes at the Type 2 Diabetes: Taking Control web experience.