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Manage Your Diabetes

and Find Freedom to Live your Life with a MedicAlert ID

 

30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, have diabetes and approximately 1.25 million American children and adults have type 1 diabetes as reported by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

According to the most recent statistics, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death, costing $237 billion annually in direct medical costs and $90 billion annually in indirect costs (loss of work, disability, loss of life, etc.).

Knowing you, or a loved one, has diabetes and taking proactive steps to educate yourself about the condition, and wearing a medical ID, can lead to reduced costs and increased quality of life.

MedicAlert’s mission is to save and protect lives by sharing information during our members’ moments of need. As a MedicAlert member you are part of a community committed to personal and public safety.

Reasons your loved one needs a MedicAlert ID and membership:

  • Serves as a signal to first responders that you or your loved one has diabetes
  • Speaks for your loved one when they cannot, especially important for individuals at risk of unconsciousness from a diabetic attack
  • Shares emergency contact details so you or your loved one knows there has been an emergency
  • States other conditions, allergies, or medications to avoid potential medical error

Our vision is to ensure every person affected by serious conditions like diabetes have a MedicAlert ID and membership. Join us in our effort to reduce the number of tragedies related to diabetes. Make MedicAlert part of your life-saving team today.

 

Learn more about the different types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that occurs because the body’s immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin, the hormone that controls blood-sugar levels. This results in the pancreas creating no or low amounts of insulin.

    According to the American Diabetic Association (ADA), 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes. This is about 5 percent of all diagnosed cases. The ADA estimates that 40,000 people receive a type 1 diagnosis each year in the United States. Sometimes known as juvenile diabetes, T1D usually develops in children or young adults, though people can be diagnosed at any age.

    The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it is believed that genetic and environmental factors (possibly viruses) may be involved. People with type 1 diabetes must take daily insulin injections and regularly monitor their blood sugar levels.

    It's recommended people with type 1 diabetes wear a medical ID to be recognized in an emergency. Only MedicAlert’s 24/7 services protect people of all ages and types of medical conditions, especially diabetes. From communicating your health information, to storing your care wishes, to reuniting loved ones, we're there when you need us.

  • Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. The CDC notes that 90 to 95 percent of diagnosed cases are type 2 diabetes.

    With this metabolic disorder, the pancreas can initially produce insulin, but your body’s cells can’t respond to it effectively. This is known as insulin resistance.

    Type 2 diabetes is commonly preceded by prediabetes. In prediabetes, blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be defined as diabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), many people with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Prediabetes also increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. With modest weight loss and moderate physical activity, people with prediabetes can often delay or prevent the progression to type 2 diabetes.

    Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

    • Age - people age 45 or older are at higher risk for diabetes
    • Family history of diabetes
    • Being overweight and/or not exercising regularly
    • Race and ethnicity. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and American Indians populations
    • Pregnancy and/or history of gestational diabetes, or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
    • Low-level HDL (high-density lipoprotein--the "good cholesterol")
    • High triglyceride levels

    In general, Type 2 diabetes is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medications (pills), and insulin.

    It's recommended people with type 2 diabetes wear a medical ID to be recognized in an emergency. Only MedicAlert’s 24/7 services protect people of all ages and types of medical conditions, especially diabetes. From communicating your health information, to storing your care wishes, to reuniting loved ones, we're there when you need us.

  • Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy in women have not previously been diagnosed with diabetes. All diabetic symptoms disappear following delivery, however it is important to treat gestational diabetes to limit risk factors for the baby.

    The CDC estimates that 9.2% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), women with gestational diabetes will have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

    The causes for gestational diabetes are unknown, but there are some clues. Hormones from the placenta that help the baby develop also block the action of the mother’s insulin in her body, resulting in insulin resistance.

    The American Diabetes Association recommends screening for undiagnosed type 2 diabetes at the first prenatal visit in women with diabetes risk factors. In pregnant women not known to have diabetes, gestational diabetes testing should be performed at 24 to 28 weeks of gestation.

    Although any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, some of the factors that may increase the risk include:

    • Overweight or obesity
    • Family history of diabetes
    • Having given birth previously to an infant weighing greater than 9 pounds
    • Age (women who are older than 25 are at a greater risk for developing gestational diabetes than younger women)
    • Race (women who are African-American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander have a higher risk)
    • Prediabetes, also known as impaired glucose tolerance

    Treatment for gestational diabetes focuses on keeping blood glucose levels in the normal range. Treatment may include special diet, exercise, daily monitoring and/or insulin injections.

    Only MedicAlert’s 24/7 services protect people of all ages and types of medical conditions, especially diabetes. From communicating your health information, to storing your care wishes, to reuniting loved ones, we're there when you need us.