With a growing obesity epidemic in the United States, type 2 diabetes mellitus has become one of the largest health concerns that primary care physicians encounter. An estimated 23 million Americans live with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a disorder of metabolism. When we eat, our food is broken down to glucose. The cells of our body utilize this glucose for growth and energy. Insulin, which is made by the pancreas organ, is necessary to carry the glucose into the cells to provide this energy source.
Holiday dining and celebrations are a culinary challenge for most Americans, especially those with diet-related illnesses. While I’m not a diabetic, my family medical history provides a cautionary tale. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 23.6 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but only 17.9 million people actually have been diagnosed. This means approximately 5.7 million people have diabetes and don’t know it.