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More Than One-Third of Those Born in 2000 Will Get Diabetes

Some 17 million Americans have diabetes (more than 90 percent of them type 2), with about a third of these people unaware of their disorder and its potentially serious consequences. Another 16 million, with a condition called prediabetes, are on their way to developing it. Worldwide, 194 million people have diabetes, which seems to accompany rising affluence. By 2050, unless current trends are reversed, experts predict a further increase of 165 percent.

More than one in three whites and about two in five blacks and one in two Hispanics are destined to develop diabetes unless some drastic changes occur. Specifically:

  • 33 percent of boys and 37 percent of girls will develop diabetes during their lifetimes.
  • Among non-Hispanic blacks, 40 percent of boys and 49 percent of girls, and among Hispanics, 46 percent of boys and 53 percent of girls face the same fate.
  • Among all those in whom diabetes is diagnosed at age 40, men will lose 12 years of life and 19 years of quality life and women will lose 14 years of life and 22 years of quality life as a result of the disease.

Fortunately, there are simple solutions. It is very rare where a diabetic comes into our office and does not improve. Yesterday I saw a patient for his one-month follow-up. He came from Mississippi to see me and was in his mid-40s with severe angina, was overweight and had diabetes. He was on insulin and 10 other drugs. I put him on a rigid program and had him take off of work for disability so he could work full time on his program. Well, one month later he has lost 15 pounds and is off of all but two of his drugs. He is off of his insulin and has near normal blood sugars.

His story is very typical in our clinic. It is not because we do magic, but when one stops grains and sugars and exercises, it is hard for the body to respond any other way than to normalize its blood sugar levels.

New York Times December 23, 2004

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