Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis Continues to Rise in Our Community: Dr. Jayne Morgan Provides Insight To This Challenge
Over 12% of Georgians have been diagnosed or treated for Diabetes. According to the American Heart Association, African Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to suffer from the disease. Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Our bodies break down most of the food we eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into our bloodstream. When blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.
With diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin, our cells stop responding to insulin, and too much blood sugar stays in our bloodstream. Over time, that can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. While there isn’t a cure for diabetes, losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active helps. Our country’s challenge with the disease is being addressed by the CDC, which launched a National Diabetes Prevention Program.
I asked Dr. Morgan how Diabetes impacts our heart and body. She explains that Diabetes puts you at a significant risk for heart. Type 1 Diabetes which begins in childhood and is dependent on insulin. Type 2 Diabetes is insulin resistance. Obesity is currently driving the high Type 2 Diabetes rates in our community.
Dr. Morgan explains that our lifestyles and diets must change to avoid type 2 diabetes. She speaks against eating highly processed foods with a long shelf life and increasing our exercise. When I mentioned that it was easier to remove salt from my diet than sugar, she shared that artificial sweeteners are designed to make us crave sweets. Often, these additives are even sweeter than sugar, and we must retrain our tastebuds.
I asked about a few of the new drugs in the marketplace, like Ozempic and Mounjaro, and if they are going to be a game changer. She explains how the new drugs work and speaks about the costs at $1400 a month. Scientists are working to get the drugs into a pill form, but until then, the costs are prohibitive for many people. Additionally, no one knows the long-term impact of these new drugs that were recently approved.
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