According to government health surveys, over 18 million individuals in the United States alone--between 6% and 7% of the national population--are estimated to have diabetes; and it’s growth rate is generating more than one million new cases every year. Sadly, over one third of those suffering from diabetes are undiagnosed.
About 60%-70% of the people with diabetes develop mild to severe nerve damage, most often in the extremities. More than 60 percent of the limb amputations in the U.S. occur among people with diabetes as a result of poor circulation, uncontrolled nerve damage, or non-healing wounds. CarePoint Medical provides diabetes testing supplies and manages patients’ reorder needs to ensure their ability to closely monitor their blood sugar levels. We can bill Medicare, most states’ Medicaid programs, and much commercial insurances, so there may no out-of-pocket costs at all to those with appropriate insurance coverage.
There are two forms of diabetes:
Type I diabetes is diagnosed in less than one million of the overall cases. It is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce insulin, which the body uses to convert all types of sugars into energy. Type I diabetics are “insulin-dependent”, and must take regular injections of insulin or follow a strict regimen of prescribed meds to manage their body’s production and usage of insulin.
Type II diabetes is the far more prevalent of the two types, affecting approximately 17 million Americans. It is caused when the pancreas produces insulin, but the insulin it produces is not adequate for the body’s foods-into-energy conversion process. A Type II diabetic is “non-insulin-dependent”, and is typically able to control their condition through a disciplined diet and exercise program, or through medication prescribed by their doctor.
Those at greatest risk of developing diabetes:
- 45+ years old
- Physically inactive
- Family history of diabetes
- Members of certain ethnic groups (including Asian American, African-American, Hispanic American, and Native American)
- History of gestational diabetes
- Elevated blood pressure
- HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) of 35 mg/dl or lower and/or a triglyceride level of 250 mg/dl or higher
- history of polycystic ovary syndrome
- history of vascular disease
Symptoms of diabetes may include:
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Increased hunger
- Frequent skin, bladder or gum infections
- Tingling or numbness (neuropathy) in hands or feet
- Slow to heal wounds
- Extreme unexplained fatigue