Tour de Cure ride supports diabetes

By Molly McGlamery-Pickens | Apr 21, 2014
Molly McGlamery-Pickens

There is no shortage of numbers on how diabetes affects people. According to ADA data from 2011, 25.8 million children and adults had diabetes in the United States. That’s 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. Seven million of these people don’t know they have diabetes. Every 17 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes.

The rates of diabetes include 15.6 percent for African Americans, 12.4 percent for American Indians, 8.4 percent for whites and 6.1 percent for Hispanics.

The total cost of diabetes in the United States in 2012 was $245 billion: $176 billion was for direct medical costs and $69 billion was for reduced productivity.

Closer to home, in North Carolina more than 640,000 adults (9.3 percent) have been diagnosed with diabetes. There are an estimated 232,000 North Carolinians who are undiagnosed and 376,000 who have pre-diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in North Carolina.

Diabetes is a group of diseases where people have high blood sugar (a high amount of glucose in their blood). Type 1 diabetes results when the body doesn’t produce insulin, the hormone that is needed to convert sugars, starches and other foods into energy. Only 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1. People with Type 1 Diabetes must take insulin to survive.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 90 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin or their bodies cannot use the insulin produced by the pancreas properly. Glucose builds up in the blood, starving cells that need it to produce energy.

Complications related to diabetes include heart disease, kidney disease, neuropathy and blindness. Some things, like age, race, gender and family history, increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. You can, however, lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy and getting enough physical activity.

You can help support research and advocacy efforts of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Locally, Mission Health is sponsoring Team on a Mission as they ride in the ADA’s annual Tour De Cure fundraising event, cycling on May 31 in Charlotte. This year’s goal is to raise $10,000. You can help by participating as a rider or by making a donation.  For more information or to make a donation to the Tour De Cure, visit main.diabetes.org/goto/mission.

Molly McGlamery-Pickens is a nurse practitioner at Mission Hospital.

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