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National Studies Show Diabetes Increasing At Alarming Rate

Lifestyle behaviors, socioeconomic habits put individuals at risk for disease

DAYTON, Ohio (October 16, 2013) – Statistics released in recent years by the nation’s top health care research groups prove that diabetes is rapidly climbing, increasing the odds that most Americans either have the disease or know someone who does.

“There is an alarming increase in diabetes in all ages,” said Roger Goodenough, MD, a family physician who practices at Troy Primary Care Physicians, an Upper Valley Professional Corporation practice.

Dr. Goodenough has been practicing medicine since 1969 and said he has seen a definite increase in the amount of individuals who have type 2 diabetes, in particular. He attributes the rise to a shift in societal behaviors particularly when it comes to how Americans obtain their food and what kind of food they eat. Type 1 diabetes is due to the loss of important cell function that regulates the body’s glucose levels. Its onset is sudden and is usually triggered by trauma such as a viral infection.

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is much more gradual in its progress and is linked to several lifestyle and behavioral habits such as low exercise, obesity, poor sleep, increased stress, smoking and use of illegal drugs, Dr. Goodenough said.

“Previously, if you went back 100 years almost everybody grew their own food and you can see how different that is from today’s age of economic specialization where individuals have a job and they make their salaries and then they go buy their food from a grocery store, fast food restaurant and vending machine,” he said. “And the diets today are higher in fat and include many high glycemic foods.”

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its Morbidity and Mortality report, which showed that between 1995 and 2010, there was at least a 100 percent increase in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes cases in 18 states. The same report showed that 42 states saw an increase of at least 50 percent. The latest statistics published by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) aren’t any more encouraging. The ADA said one in three Americans is expected to develop type 2 diabetes by the year 2050. Currently, 8.3 percent of the U.S. population lives with diabetes and an additional 35 percent have prediabetes, putting them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

The ADA sets certain benchmarks to quantify pre-diabetes and diabetes, however, Dr. Goodenough said it is important to realize that a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is not just dependent on a certain blood sugar level. The development of type 2 diabetes is often a slow progression and manifestation of a lifetime of choices and behaviors. Individuals should work with their primary care physician to determine their blood sugar levels and discuss what changes they can make to stop the onset of the disease.

Most of the risk factors that contribute to the disease are preventable and individuals have the power to change the course of their health.

“If you are a smoker, quit smoking, if you use illegal drugs stop using them because they impact the progression of this disorder. If your diet is not ideal I would talk to your doctor about an ideal diet,” Dr. Goodenough said. “Also if you are not active aerobically, I would recommend increasing your exercise to 40-minute sessions where you are using all of your muscles.”

An individual’s diet is also very important. Dr. Goodenough recommends that individuals stay away from bread, potatoes, corn, white rice, pasta, fruit juices and foods high in sugar. Instead, concentrate on eating foods high in good carbohydrates such as cereal, vegetables, beans and fruit.

To learn more about diabetes or to find a physician visit www.PremierHealthNet.com/doctor.


Content Updated: December 1, 2014

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