"Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Food is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into our body's cells. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as it should. The result is sugars building up in your blood. "Prediabetes" is the condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes." (CDC)
Diabetes can lead to heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. It's the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.. The American Diabetes Association provides some disturbing facts on the state of diabetes in the U.S. below.
29.1 million people (9.3% of the population) have diabetes. Of those, 8.1 million are undiagnosed.
12.3% of people 20 years or older have diabetes. If present trends continue, this will grow to over 30% by 2050.
25.9% of people 65 years or older have diabetes.
85.2% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
86 million people, or 37%, aged 20 years or older, have prediabetes. Of those, only 11.1% have been told they have it.
Health care costs are 2.3 times higher with diabetes than what costs would be without it.
1 in 5 health care dollars is spent caring for people with diabetes.
A person diagnosed with diabetes at age 50, dies, on average, 6 years earlier than a 50 year old without diabetes.