Experts see 95% increase of diabetes in young adults

North Dakota experts say about 200,000 residents have prediabetes with Type 2 around the corner, here’s how to prevent it

Doctors encourage patients to check blood sugar levels.
Photo Courtesy | Gia Willow Alexa Annermarken

With the increasing number of young people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it is important to educate the community about early signs and symptoms of the disease, and more importantly how to prevent it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that every one in 10 Americans has been diagnosed with diabetes. A Reuters study also states that the rate of young people ages 10 to 19 with type 2 diabetes increased by 95% from 2001 to 2017.

According to NDSU, diabetes is a major concern in N.D.. Approximately 200,000 North Dakotans have prediabetes.

“With no intervention, 15% to 30% with prediabetes will develop diabetes in the next five years,” Molly Soeby, NDSU Extension’s Family and Community Wellness agent in Grand Forks County told NDSU. “On average, medical expenses are 2.3 times higher for those with diabetes than for those without diabetes.”

More than $900 million is spent annually on diagnosed diabetes costs in N.D., and over $190 million of that is indirect costs from loss of people’s productivity. Delaying or preventing one person from developing diabetes would save about $8,000 per year in medical costs, according to Soeby.

“I’ve been working at Sanford for over 20 years in the diabetes area and we’ve had an average of nine to 12 new onsets every year. Last year we had 11 for the whole 12 months. This year, it’s just the end of August and we’ve already had 24,” Sanford Health Bismarck Diabetes Program Manager Donna Amundson told KFYR News in August.

According to the CDC, an estimated 88 million adults have prediabetes, which accounts for 34.5% of the U.S. adult population; more than 84% of them don’t know they have it.

Prediabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes. However, having prediabetes can raise your risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The CDC labels diabetes as a long-lasting health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy.

When food is being digested in the body, most of it is broken down into sugar and released into the bloodstream. When one’s blood sugar goes up, it signals the pancreas to release insulin — the key to letting the blood sugar into the body’s cells for use as energy, according to the CDC.

If the body does not have enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in the bloodstream.

Other than prediabetes and gestational diabetes found in pregnant women, there are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that stops the body from making insulin. Of the population that has diabetes, only 5-10% have Type 1 with most cases found in children, teens and young adults, according to the CDC.

Preventions for Type 1 diabetes are unknown and insulin is needed every day to survive.

About 90-95% of people with diabetes have Type 2. Type 2 diabetes prevents the body from using insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. People may not notice symptoms, so it’s important for them to get their blood sugar tested if they’re at risk.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy food and being active, according to the CDC.

Although the cure for diabetes is yet to be discovered, the CDC says individuals can prevent or delay diabetes by losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active. Taking medicine as needed, getting diabetes self-management education and support and keeping up with health care appointments can also reduce the impact of diabetes on people’s lives.

Students at NDSU with diabetes, experiencing symptoms of diabetes or are at risk of diabetes can visit or contact the Student Health Center for their dietitian services.

There are no additional charges for dietitian consultations for enrolled and eligible students. Appointments can be scheduled online through the Student Health Portal or by calling (701) 231-7331.

Leave a Reply