The Total Self – All About Diabetes


This subject of disease, especially one as deadly and debilitating as diabetes that continues to plague our society, is a hot topic. Stats are plentiful, but answers are hard to come by. This article will cover the basics (and a few stats) on the disease.

NOTE: This article is not a substitute for sound medical advice. Please consult your primary care provider for all things health/wellness related.

Diabetes mellitus is a major cause of mortality and various other debilitating conditions worldwide. This is a condition where the body is prevented from utilizing energy from the food that we eat. There are 2 mechanisms involved in such condition.

  • The pancreas produces little to no insulin.
  • The pancreas produces enough insulin but the body has developed resistance.

There are different types of Diabetes that correspond to these two mechanisms and presses a huge impact in the morbidity and mortality rate.

Type 1: Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. In this  type the body is attacking the pancreas hence damaging it and affects the production of insulin in the body. This condition might be hereditary. There are different conditions associated with the progression of this type, among them are diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy, and even progression of heart diseases and stroke. A regular insulin treatment is used to manage this type of diabetes.

Type 2: Type 2 Diabetes  is the most common type of diabetes which comprises of 95% of diabetes cases in adults. This condition is more often manifested during adulthood associated with obesity and lack of exercise. In this type, insulin resistance is developed. Like Type 1, this condition does not have  a treatment or cure but it can be managed by diet and weight management. Unfortunately, annually in the U.S. alone, over 200,000 deaths (in 2015 alone) are credited to complications due to diabetes (as a contributing cause of death). Here are more stats on diabetes (per the American Diabetes Association):

Statistics About Diabetes

Overall Numbers, Diabetes and Prediabetes

  • Prevalence: In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes.
  • Approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes.
  • Undiagnosed: Of the 30.3 million adults with diabetes, 23.1 million were diagnosed, and 7.2 million were undiagnosed.
  • Prevalence in Seniors: The percentage of Americans age 65 and older remains high, at 25.2%, or 12.0 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).
  • New Cases: 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.
  • Prediabetes: In 2015, 84.1 million Americans age 18 and older had prediabetes.
  • Deaths: Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015, with 79,535 death certificates listing it as the underlying cause of death, and a total of 252,806 death certificates listing diabetes as an underlying or contributing cause of death.

Diabetes in Youth

  • About 193,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes, approximately 0.24% of that population.
  • In 2011—2012, the annual incidence of diagnosed diabetes in youth was estimated at 17,900 with type 1 diabetes, 5,300 with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes by Race/Ethnicity

The rates of diagnosed diabetes in adults by race/ethnic background are:

The breakdown among Asian Americans:

  • 3% for Chinese
  • 9% for Filipinos
  • 2% for Asian Indians
  • 5% for other Asian Americans.

The breakdown among Hispanic adults:

  • 5% for Central and South Americans
  • 0% for Cubans
  • 8% for Mexican Americans
  • 0% for Puerto Ricans.


Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2015 based on the 79,535 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death. In 2015, diabetes was mentioned as a cause of death in a total of 252,806 certificates.

Diabetes may be underreported as a cause of death. Studies have found that only about 35% to 40% of people with diabetes who died had diabetes listed anywhere on the death certificate and about 10% to 15% had it listed as the underlying cause of death.

Cost of Diabetes

Updated March 22, 2018

  • $327 billion: Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2017
  • $237 billion for direct medical costs
  • $90 billion in reduced productivity

After adjusting for population age and sex differences, average medical expenditures among people with diagnosed diabetes were 2.3 times higher than what expenditures would be in the absence of diabetes.

Read more about the results of the study “Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017.”

There are 9 symptoms that are associated with both types:

  • Increased urine output
  • Excessive thirst
  • Weight loss
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Yeast infections and
  • Tingling or numbness of toes

To date, scientists, researchers and medical practitioners are still developing treatments and potential cures for both types of diabetes. Though there is no cure, the best way to avoid diabetes (or to control it) is through more healthful choices of lifestyle, diet and stress management.

In summation, information, knowledge and application of said knowledge is the best bet to avoiding (or controlling) diabetes. Remember, this is “thinking person’s fitness”- some assembly required.



About Author

Kente Bates

OSN Fitness Expert Kente Bates is a personal trainer, writer, and coach. He has been involved in sports and fitness for over 20 years. You can reach him on twitter: @halcyonfg16. His health/fitness blog, Halcyon Fitness Group : and his email (where you can ask questions concerning health, fitness or anything relating):

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