Diabetes is a chronic condition associated with carbohydrate intolerance. Characterized by high blood sugar levels, diabetes affects 29.1 million people according to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014. That equates to 9% of the U.S. population. Worse yet, 28% are undiagnosed. One study estimates that the number of people living with diabetes in 2025 will increase by 64% to 53 million.
Type two, or adult onset diabetes can be managed with weight control, a healthy diet, regular physical activity and, or medication. People with diabetes are at increased risk of serious health issues. Risks associated with poor blood sugar control from undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes include retinopathy and may lead to blindness, and micro-vascular disease leading to heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, amputations of toes, feet and, or legs, and premature death.
So . . . What does diabetes have to do with dialysis? Diabetes Mellitus is the number one cause of kidney failure in the United States today. In 2011 Diabetic Nephropathy was listed as the primary cause of kidney failure in 44% of all new dialysis starts. Some 300,000 diabetic Americans are living with chronic kidney failure today and unless something changes, that number will likely increase!