Diabetes is a life-long disease where the body is not able to process blood glucose properly. Improper treatment can lead to many complications related to the condition, including heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.
Scientists from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland discovered that the rate of the condition in America has increased from 5.5% to 10.8% in the last 29 years. Still, experts say they have better control over the condition than ever. So, why are they saying the opposite?
According to the research published in NCBI, while the rate of diabetes increased from 1988, the number of misdiagnosed cases dropped from 16.3% to 10.9%.
In other words, the disease is more apparent nowadays, but doctors are doing a good job of recognizing the symptoms and offering proper treatment.
Plus, there are more types of treatment options available to these people, including medications, insulin pumps, injections, as well as guidance on lifestyle choices.
Undiagnosed Cases of Diabetes
Researchers found that most undiagnosed cases were people from ethnic minorities, overweight or obese people, and those without health insurance.
The study’s lead author and a professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology, Elizabeth Selvin, says understanding the proportion of undiagnosed diabetes cases and to which group of patients they belong is crucial to the allocation of public health resources.
Increasing health coverage and targeted screening in these populations can help them get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
According to previous statistics, ¼ to 1/3 of those with diabetes in the US are not diagnosed with the disease. However, scientists say this number could be even higher.
The key to preventing misdiagnoses is to give people a chance to go to the doctor’s office in the first place. Here, they should do two screening tests.
As it seems, healthcare providers successfully recognize the symptoms of the condition in patients who come in contact with the healthcare system.
However, the study authors say they should focus on those who are not coming in contact with the healthcare system to make sure there are no undiagnosed cases of the condition.
Generally, people who show risk factors for the condition such as obesity, or those over 45 years should test for diabetes.
Tips for Preventing It
Here are a few tips to reduce our risk of developing the condition.
- Lose some excess pounds
- Be more physically active
- Eat whole grains
- Consume plenty of fiber-rich foods
- Avoid fad diets
- Avoid carbs and sugar
- Learn how to manage stress.