The Rising Importance of Properly Managing Diabetes 

An estimated 2 million people, or 12.5%, of New York’s population has diabetes. Defined as a group of diseases which results in too much sugar in the blood, diabetes oftentimes requires a lot of care and proper management in order to keep it under control and prevent serious health issues in the long run, including blindness and organ damage. With that in mind, many people in New York and across the United States find it increasingly difficult to control their diabetes for several reasons.

The facts

A diabetes diagnosis oftentimes entails a significant amount of care when it comes to diet, exercise, and other aspects of life in order to manage the condition properly, which can be extremely difficult for some. In fact, one national study discovered that at least three out of four individuals with diabetes don’t properly control factors (such as smoking and blood cholesterol) that can increase the risk of serious complications. The study also found that there has also been little to no improvement in managing diabetes since 2005.

However, there are a number of reasons why so many people lack proper management and care of their diabetes. For example, insurance may pose issues for many, whereas others may simply neglect taking their medications properly — and, in some cases, it’s quite possible for someone to have the disease and not be aware of it. It’s also important to recognize that some individuals may also avoid important treatment. For instance, 40% of people with diabetes initially avoided insulin therapy, which can potentially lead to a shortened life span. In fact, those who refused insulin therapy had worse glycemic control and it even took them longer to reach healthier blood sugar levels, thus proving its importance.

The consequences

Not properly managing diabetes can lead to a myriad of health issues and have serious consequences over time. For instance, vision problems and organ damage can become issues that can cause even worse problems such as blindness and organ failure. Nerve damage can also occur when diabetes isn’t managed properly and can potentially lead to amputation. However, such issues can be avoided when the disease is properly managed and kept under control with the right lifestyle changes and medications. For instance, in addition to a healthy diet and exercise, wearing the proper footwear and utilizing diabetic socks are just a couple of things that can help to manage diabetic nerve pain.

Advanced solutions and raising awareness

When it comes to increasing proper care of diabetes for those who experience the disease, there have been advancements that may be able to make things easier, as well as events that work to raise awareness of diabetes. For example, the Eversense continuous glucose monitor (or CGM) by Senseonics involves a sensor that can be implanted under the skin and can be worn for 90 days. Additionally, researchers are finding that some new classes of medications have the ability to not only help to lower blood sugar levels, but can actually help protect the heart and kidneys as well. In terms of raising diabetes awareness in New York, the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes has gone virtual in 2020 in order to protect those with diabetes, who are considered high-risk to the coronavirus.

Many individuals across the nation and in New York are affected by diabetes. However, it’s important to realize that  many have difficulties managing the disease. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to bring awareness to the situation.