The Diabetes Epidemic in New Jersey

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According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have Type 2 diabetes. While Type 1 diabetes is only prevalent in under 10% of patients, it tends to gain more than 90% of media attention.

Type 2 diabetes is common in the adult population where the body, while producing insulin, doesn’t recognize the insulin adequately. Blood glucose (sugar) levels then rise and is difficult to control. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the 30.3 million Americans with diabetes, 7.2 million remain undiagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes can go unnoticed for a long time, as mild to moderate blood sugar levels may not cause any symptoms. But, when blood sugars rise significantly, people start to notice symptoms like:

  • Excessive thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Blurry vision

  • Fatigue

  • Repeat skin infections

  • Poor wound healing

Type 2 also tends to be more complicated to treat, and it cannot be managed in isolation with just insulin. It will also affect major organs and result in complications like heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage (neuropathy) in the limbs, and kidney disease. A combination of treatments including blood sugar monitoring, healthy eating, weight loss and regular exercise are all a part of managing Type 2 diabetes.

The Bergen County-based Diabetes Foundation is dedicated to providing essential health, wellness and diabetes care to adults and children at risk and living with diabetes across the state of New Jersey. Their equitable, accessible, compassionate, high-quality care supports  ALL individuals experiencing barriers to self-care, and includes targeted outreach to communities with the highest diabetes prevalence. Their resources, social support and education programs offer a comprehensive and reliable source of help, hope and better health to those in need regardless of citizenship status, income or healthcare coverage.

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