WOW, according to the International Diabetes Federation the fight against diabetes is being lost. The new estimate of the number of people with diabetes worldwide has now risen to 382 million for 2013 this is an increase of about 11 million from 2012. The federation also predicts that by 2035 the numbers will rise to 592 million. That works out to about 9 million plus per year rise on average. Why is this happening or going to happen? You would think with all the diabetes awareness campaigns going on and the diabetes education efforts by the ADA and its counterparts in other nations around the world that this number would be going down.
I haven’t crunched the numbers yet but I am going to make an educated guess here and say that part of the reason for the rise is simple math (simple if you paid attention in math classes growing up, which I didn’t). The world population is ever-growing and thus a certain percentage of people are going to have type I diabetes. With this said, that does not account for the number of people with type II diabetes and any rise in the numbers for that type. Part of the rise for type II can be attributed to lifestyle and diet. The article I am reading does not break down the numbers distinguishing the number of type I and type II so I can not figure out if there is an actual rise of more people with type II diabetes by percentage of world population or if the rise can be attributed solely to a rising world population and the percentage is the same. My guess would be there is an actual rise in the percentage of type II diabetes but how much I don’t know. I base my guess on the fact that more and more people are living and eating like we do here in the western world. (Lifestyle and diet.)
This to me is part of the problem. The medical community, the pharmaceutical companies, governments and organizations continue to treat both types as though they are the same. They are not. If we are truly to begin winning the battle there needs to be a fundamental shift in the way we are fighting the fight. We need to start separating the two types. We need to start distinguishing the two types as two different things.
Today, in the public forum, when we talk about diabetes we do not talk about or distinguish the two types of diabetes and the causes and treatments for each. Just look at tv and the commercials about diabetes treatment. You see lots of drugs and treatments toted in commercials, mostly for type two diabetes and yes, they do “mention” type II but it is not the focus. The focus in these commercials is what the drug can do for diabetes. They fail to mention that type II diabetes is a condition brought on in most cases by diet, weight gain and lack of exercise. For people watching these commercials the difference between type I and type II are lost. As with most people who are not diabetic or do not have knowledge about diabetes there is no difference between the two types. People generally think it’s all the same. People generally think things like you can’t have sugar or the opposite you need to have sugar. In any case there is alot of misinformation out there about diabetes, its causes and treatments.
I have long been an advocate of giving type II diabetes a new name. No, I don’t have any suggestions but I do think if it had a different name we could then begin to create new strategies for combating it. Today the lumping of two totally different ailments that happen to have alot of the same symptoms is not working and in my opinion never will. Just as the common cold and the flu can have many of the same symptoms, it does not mean you treat them the same. I believe it is high time that we begin to differentiate the two types of diabetes and begin treating them as the two totally different ailments that they are. The report I was reading was an interesting article but I think it would have better served the public if it was an article about the losing battle to type 2 diabetes and not diabetes as a whole .