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Millions Of Americans Are Now Diabetic

Diabetes runs in my family the same way blonde hair or being tall runs in other families. Nearly everyone on my dad's side of the family - all thirteen siblings and a zillion cousins - has it, including me and my father. It's no walk in the park, and your life and perspective on your health definitely changes when you get diagnosed. Unfortunately, a recent study shows that a surprising number of Americans are also suffering from the exact same ailment.

According to Live Science, a whopping 29 million Americans are now type 2 diabetic. The really scary thing about that is nearly a quarter of them are completely unaware that they have it. The report was released by the CDC, using data retrieved back in 2012 when 1.7 new cases were diagnosed. For those of you unfamiliar with type 2 diabetes, it's when your body can't properly use insulin and you have higher than normal blood sugar levels. It can be caused by a variety of sources, but being overweight and not eating well are two main culprits. If you're like me, and have a family history, you could be at risk even with a healthy lifestyle.

Back in 2010, the research indicated that 26 million folks had diabetes, and about 79 million were pre-diabetic. If the rise in cases increases over the next few years, by 2025 they think that 1 in 5 Americans will be diabetic and possibly 1 in 3 people by 2050. Diabetes that's under control usually means a long and relatively healthy life. Unmanaged diabetes can cause heart disease, kidney failure, loss of limbs and blindness. This means it's a huge public health crisis that so many people are suffering from the ailment.

It was also discovered that African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are nearly twice as likely as whites to have diabetes. Interestingly though, pre-diabetes was about the same across every group at around 36% of all adults. The CDC also urges people above the age of 45 to get tested if they are overweight. The best way to prevent type 2 diabetes for most people is to eat a healthy diet, exercise and manage what they eat. Medications can also help to control blood sugar if nothing else is helping. The most important thing now, I think, is making sure we find everyone who needs diagnosing and help them to manage their condition.

So while diabetes may have always been in the cards for me, I hope that other people can use this data as a wake up call. It can definitely be scary to talk to your doctor about it, but it can ultimately save your life. Diabetes is not the worst thing in the world that can happen to you, but it certainly isn't a piece of cake. And I'm thankful that I've got mine under control and learned I had it at a young age.