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Diabetes Cases On The Rise

November 16, 2011, 6:10 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Diabetes Cases On The Rise
SIOUX FALLS, SD -  
It could be a health emergency. In less than 20 years, one in 10 people could have diabetes.

That's the latest prediction from the International Diabetes Foundation. But, many think that number will be higher.

Joni Gaffer was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes six years ago. The Canistota woman gives herself five shots of insulin a day.

"When I first got put on insulin, I was having a lot of problems with my eyes. I had gotten to the point where I quit driving. I wasn't working because basically I was going blind," Gaffer said.

More and more people are dealing with diabetes like Gaffer. In fact, the International Diabetes Federation predicts that at lest one in ten adults could have diabetes by 2030.

"I actually thought the number might be a little higher because it just seems like we see so many new people diagnosed," Sanford Nurse Practitioner at the Sanford Diabetes Assessment Center Jen DeGroot said.

DeGroot says that's because the report took into account an aging population, but not an increase in obesity.

"Obesity is a big factor in diabetes. Unfortunately, when people have a lot of excess weight, they don't use the insulin they have quite as well, and that can cause higher blood sugar," DeGroot said.

Gaffer encourages others to maintain their weight and exercise to avoid diabetes, because she says it can be a matter of life or death.

"It affects your eye sight, your teeth and gums, your heart, kidneys, sex organs, the blood vessels, the nerves, and the feet. I don't know any other disease that affects that many different things in your body than maybe cancer," Gaffer said.

A situation she hopes will not impact one in ten people, including her three children who are at high-risk.

"My ex-husband is also diabetic, so it's very likely that all three kids could be. It's scary to watch them have to go through something like that. I don't ever want to see that. I don't want them to," Gaffer said.

Besides a rising number of diabetics, the World Health Organization predicts the number of diabetes-related deaths will double by 2030.

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