It has been exactly 100 years since insulin was first discovered, and in the century since, this game-changing development has improved and saved the lives of countless people living with diabetes. One hundred years of additional advancements in treatment, prevention, education, and blood sugar monitoring have also significantly added to their quality of life.
While this anniversary is indeed something to celebrate, it comes tinged with disappointment and concern as well. That is because instead of waning, diabetes has become “a pandemic of unprecedented magnitude,” in the words of Dr. Andrew Boulton, president of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). And the other current pandemic of unprecedented magnitude – COVID-19 – isn’t helping matters, according to experts.
As recently reported by CNN, one in every ten adults in the world is currently living with diabetes. That is approximately 537 million people, according to the IDF. Making things worse, about half (44.7%) of those 537 million don’t know they have diabetes or have received a diabetes diagnosis, leaving them particularly vulnerable to the many complications of the condition when left untreated. By 2024, the IDF predicted that the number of people with diabetes will rise to one in eight adults.
According to the American Medical Association and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the foregoing figures don’t include the approximately 88 million Americans who currently have prediabetes.
In 2021 alone, nearly 7 million people have died due to diabetes or its complications, representing more than 1 in 10 global deaths from any cause. These fatalities are in addition to individuals with diabetes who succumbed to COVID-19. While diabetes doesn’t make someone more or less likely to get sick with COVID-19, it is now well established that diabetes significantly increases the risk of serious complications or death from the virus. A February 2021 study found that people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes were at three times more risk than others for severe illness or death from COVID-19. In fact, as noted in the CNN report, Dr. Robert Gabbay, chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes Association, says that as many as 40 percent of the Americans who have died from Covid-19 had diabetes.
As such, individuals with diabetes must remain highly vigilant against acquiring COVID-19, given its disproportionately severe impact on them.
Effectively managing your diabetes is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. Accurate and frequent monitoring of glucose levels is an indispensable part of those efforts. Fortunately, advancements in glucose monitoring technology have made controlling your glucose levels more effortless than ever.
Traditional glucose monitoring involves pricking a finger multiple times a day to test blood samples, an inconvenient and uncomfortable burden. Now, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) allows those with diabetes to avoid finger-pricking through the use of a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device.
Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.