Diabetes Awareness Month & Radiology: Imaging’s Role

It’s November, and while most people are starting to think about the holidays and everything that goes along with them, November is a very important month in the medical world.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. One in 11 Americans have diabetes, and with 86 million pre-diabetic this is not something we should ignore.

Advancements in Imaging and Diabetes

In radiology, we are making advancements related to the benefit of noninvasive imaging and diabetes management. In this article, Noninvasive imaging tests may play bigger role in diabetes management, the author states that CT, MR, and PET have the ability through advanced imaging techniques to quantify body fat and help distinguish between the different types of fats in the body. This, in turn, gives us unique insight into what effects those fats have on the metabolism, and different disease risks.

Still, other advancements focus on the likelihood of diabetic patients to have a stroke. As we read in this article, 3D MRI Identifies Diabetes Patients at High Risk for Stroke, analysis of multiple studies has shown that people with carotid artery narrowing and IPH have a five to six times higher risk of stroke in the near future. Canadian researchers did a study of 159 asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes. With a mean age of 63.1 and 62.3%. 23% had IPH in the absence of carotid artery stenosis that was associated with an increased carotid artery wall volume.

Diabetics are already three to five times more likely to have a stroke. This research could mean that IPH is an early indicator of stroke risks, but it is still being investigated.

Though imaging is still not being used regularly in the treatment and prevention of diabetes, it’s motivating to see where the field is headed. Imaging started essentially by telling someone if they had a broken bone to now performing vessel analysis and virtual colonoscopies! It’s truly just the beginning for the future of radiology.

Be Encouraging

With diabetes comes a lot of other health risks. Kidney, liver, and cataracts disease–just to list a few. Empower your friends with diabetes, make sure they have the support they need.

Encourage anyone with diabetes to go to the American Diabetes Association website and share their story. #ThisISDiabetes


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