at the University of Illinois

Disease Information

Diabetes Mellitus

STATISTICS

Currently, 8% of the United States population has diabetes. That equates to 23.6 million children and adults. This number is continuing to grow at a fast rate. In 2007 alone, 1.6 million new cases were diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older.1

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Most of the food you eat is converted into a sugar called glucose. Glucose is an energy source for the body and circulates in your bloodstream until it is taken up and utilized by your cells. However, in order for the cells to uptake the glucose, insulin is needed. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas and is released into the blood. When your body does not produce enough insulin, the glucose (sugar) builds to high levels in your blood. Diabetes is the result. Scientifically, it is called Diabetes Mellitus. This is a serious condition and can become detrimental to your health.2

TYPES OF DIABETES

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes today. Of those Americans diagnosed with diabetes, 90-95% have Type 2.2 This type most often develops in middle-aged and older adults and is linked to obesity and lack of physical activity. It results when the body does not produce enough insulin or if the body becomes resistant to insulin.3 As a result, the glucose stays circulating in the blood causing high sugar levels. These conditions cause the body’s cells to “starve” themselves of fuel since they are not receiving enough glucose.1 Depending on the severity of type 2 diabetes, treatment plans differ. Lifestyle changes such as meal planning, exercise, and weight loss to control blood sugar are often the first steps taken. Medication or insulin shots are also used in some cases.1

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and affects around 5-10% of diabetic individuals. It results from the body’s inability to produce any insulin. An autoimmune disorder usually causes the destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Similar to Type 2 diabetes, this condition also “starves” the cells of fuel and is characterized by high blood glucose levels.2 Insulin shots are administered to treat this type of diabetes.1

SYMPTOMS

Some symptoms include:

  • Being very thirsty
  • Urinating often
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurry eyesight
  • Feeling very tired or hungry3

RISK FACTORS

Even though diabetes is capable of affecting anyone, those who are obese or lead sedentary lives are more at risk of developing diabetes. Studies have also shown that those in certain ethic groups: Hispanic, African American, Native American, or Asian have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.2

Do you think you are at risk for Diabetes? Click here to take a “Risk Test” offered by the American Diabetes Association.

WHAT CAN DIABETES CAUSE?

Diabetes increases one’s risk of developing heart disease or stroke. More than 65% of people with diabetes die from these two complications. Heart attacks may occur earlier in life in individuals with diabetes. Nerve damage and blindness have the potential to develop as well.1

HOW CAN IMSS HELP?

Early detection is key to prevention. By holding free screening events, IMSS allows individuals to be informed of their blood glucose levels. Professional and educational advice is given to help the patient maintain their blood glucose at a normal level. Becoming aware of one’s blood glucose levels allows individuals to take preventative steps and make lifestyle changes to lead a healthy life.

IMSS offers two tests to assess blood glucose:

Glucometer: This device measures the current level of glucose in the blood
Normal (after 8 hours of fasting): 70-100 mg/dL
Pre-Diabetes: 100-125 mg/dL
Type I or II Diabetes: 126 mg/dL or higher

Hemaglobin A1c Test: This test determines the average blood glucose level over a 3 month period
Normal: 4 – 5.9%
Type I or II Diabetes: greater than 5.9%

SOURCES
1American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org http://www.diabetes.org/type-1-diabetes.jsp
2American Heart Association 2007
3National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/DM
http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/DM/pubs/type1and2/what.htm#signs
https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ro/www/IlliniMedicalScreeningSociety/pages/tests/glucometer.html

High Blood Pressure: Hypertension

STATISTICS

It is estimated that 1 in 3 American adults, around 72 million people, have high blood pressure. Due to the lack of symptoms of this condition, many people are unaware they have high blood pressure and this number may actually be higher.1

WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure your blood exerts on your arteries. It is written as a number such as this: 120/80 mm Hg. The top number is the systolic pressure and measures the pressure on the arteries as your heart takes a beat. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure and measures the pressure on the arteries between beats. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, means your blood is exerting an abnormally high amount of pressure on your arterial walls.2

TYPES OF High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure your blood exerts on your arteries. It is written as a number such as this: 120/80 mm Hg. The top number is the systolic pressure and measures the pressure on the arteries as your heart takes a beat. The bottom number is the diastolic pressure and measures the pressure on the arteries between beats. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, means your blood is exerting an abnormally high amount of pressure on your arterial walls.2

Look below to see where your blood pressure reading fits in.5
High blood pressure: 140/90 mmHg or higher
Prehypertension: Between 120-39 and/or 80-89 mmHg
Normal blood pressure: Less than 120/80 mmHg

RISK FACTORS

As you age, blood pressure naturally rises. Being overweight, obese, or having diabetes increases one’s risk of developing high blood pressure.5 Heredity may also play a factor in developing hypertension. If you know you have a family history of hypertension, take preventative measures and check your blood pressure often. Ethnicity may play a factor as well. Studies have shown African Americans are more at risk for an early, more severe, development of hypertension.2

WHAT CAN HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE CAUSE?

When your body experiences high blood pressure over a long period of time, it can have damaging effects on many parts of your body. Untreated high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, peripheral artery disease (PAD), and other health problems.3

HOW CAN I LOWER MY HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

Dietary modifications have shown to be very important in lowering blood pressure. Reducing salt intake and eating meals low in cholesterol and saturated fat but abundant in fruits and vegetables will have a positive impact on your health. Additional measures you can take to lower blood pressure include: losing weight, drinking alcohol in moderation, quit smoking, and being physically active.5

HOW CAN IMSS HELP?

Monitoring blood pressure regularly is important for detecting high blood pressure problems early. Hypertension is known as the “silent killer,” showing few symptoms until it is too late.2 Because it can go undetected for many years, it is very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly. This is why IMSS offers free blood pressure readings to all patients seen at our screening events.

SOURCES
1http://hyper.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/47/2/296
2American Heart Association 2008 http://www.americanheart.org
3National Heart Lung and Blood Institute 2008 http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP_WhatIs.html
4MedlinePlus 2009 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/highbloodpressure.html
5U.S. Department of Health and Human Services http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/mission/partner/should_know.pdf

High Cholesterol: Hyperlipidemia

STATISTICS

According to the American Heart Association, over half of adults in America have cholesterol levels that are too high.2 The average adult American blood cholesterol level is 203 mg/dL.3 The desirable level is less than 200 mg/dL.

WHAT IS HIGH CHOLESTEROL (HYPERLIPIDEMIA)?

Most of the food you eat is converted into a sugar called glucose. Glucose is an energy source for the body and circulates in your bloodstream until it is taken up and utilized by your cells. However, in order for the cells to uptake the glucose, insulin is needed. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas and is released into the blood. When your body does not produce enough insulin, the glucose (sugar) builds to high levels in your blood. Diabetes is the result. Scientifically, it is called Diabetes Mellitus. This is a serious condition and can become detrimental to your health.2

TYPES OF CHOLESTEROL

Having high cholesterol means you have an elevated number of fats (lipids) in your bloodstream. The term “hyperlipidemia” literally means: a condition characterized by excessive lipids. The lipids take on many forms such as cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides. They are transported through the body as part of a large molecule called a lipoprotein.2

There are two types of cholesterol: HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. Because this type of cholesterol has been shown to lower risk for heart attack and stroke, it is called the “good” cholesterol. The higher your HDL levels are, the better. The low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, on the other hand, is called the “bad” cholesterol because it is responsible for transporting the harmful cholesterol throughout your body. The lower your LDL levels are, the better.2

Check these charts to see where your blood cholesterol numbers fit in:

TOTAL CHOLESTEROL LEVEL:
Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL
Borderline: 200 – 239 mg/dL
High Risk: 240 mg/dL and above

HIGH DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN (HDL) LEVEL:
High Risk:
MEN: Under 40 mg/dL
WOMEN: Under 50 mg/dL
Protective:
ALL: Greater than 60 mg/dL

LOW DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN (LDL) LEVEL:
Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL
Above Optimal: 100 – 129 mg/dL
Borderline High: 130 – 159 mg/dL
High: 160 – 189 mg/dL
Very High: 190 mg/dL and above

TRIGLYCERIDE LEVEL:
Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline High: 150 – 199 mg/dL
High: 200 – 499 mg/dL
Very High: 500 mg/dL and above

WHAT CAN HIGH CHOLESTEROL CAUSE?

The #1 leading cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease while the #2 is stroke. Both of these can result from hyperlipidemia. High levels of cholesterol in your body cause the build-up of plaque, fatty acids, and cholesterol in your arteries. This build-up over time causes hardening of the arteries called atherosclerosis. This reduces blood flow and requires the cardiovascular system work harder.1 Clots that block blood flow may also form and can result in stroke.2

HOW CAN I LOWER MY HIGH CHOLESTEROL?

Losing weight, being physically active, and eating healthy foods are three very effective ways to lower high cholesterol. Foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and free of trans-fat will help reduce the build-up of cholesterol in your body. Even though these steps are very effective, sometimes doctors may prescribe medications to aid in lowering cholesterol levels.2

HOW CAN IMSS HELP?

Due to the complications of hyperlipidemia, it is very important to be aware of your cholesterol levels. Early detection of high levels allows you to take preventative steps to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. IMSS uses a Cholestech LDX system to find the lipoprotein profile of your blood. This machine analyzes a sample of blood and gives a reading of your cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels. A healthcare professional at our screening events will be able to interpret these readings and give advice on how to keep these at a healthy level.

SOURCES
1National Cholesterol Education Program http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/wyntk.htm
2American Heart Association 2008 http://www.americanheart.org
3Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/Cholesterol/facts.htm

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