Diabetes rates are on the rise

It's been labeled the silent epidemic.

More than 18 million Americans have diabetes, and 7 million Americans have undiagnosed diabetes according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

â??In type 1 diabetes the pancreas isn't functioning anymore,â?? Nickolas Gillette, D.O., with Complete Family Medicine said.

â??In type 2 diabetes itâ??s a little bit different (because the) pancreas still functions. You still make insulin (but) your body is just not using that insulin appropriately.â??

Since 1995, the amount of people with diabetes among all age groups increased by at least 50 percent in 42 states, according to the CDC.

In children, specifically type 2 diabetes rates could quadruple while type 1 rates could triple by 2050.

â??(Weâ??re noticing) that...people of all ages are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; where the pancreas hasnâ??t failed, but the body isnâ??t recognizing the insulin and lowering the blood sugar (as) it should (be doing),â?? Gillette said. â??Part of the problem with that is just the way our lifestyle has changed.â??

Dr. Gillette said type 1 diabetes has a genetic link, when generally type 2 does not. He said you can prevent type 2 diabetes and in some cases cure it.

â??(With) type 2 diabetes there is definitely a way to prevent it,â?? He said. â??And, thatâ??s of course being more active (and having) a healthy lifestyle. Thatâ??s everything from eating correctly to exercising and taking your medicine like the doctor prescribes. (There are a lot) of people (who) wonder can you cure type 2 diabetes, and it really depends on how far the disease has progressed. If you're to the point you're injecting yourself with insulin, than probably not. But, if itâ??s earlier on in the course then changing that lifestyle and loosing that weight really can pretty much cure type 2 diabetes.â??

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