Why Is Diabetes Known As the Silent Killer?


While diabetes is often called a “chronic” disease, it is also known as the “silent killer” which I believe is a very accurate description. Here are some of the primary reasons for this:

Diabetes Often Goes Undetected For a Very Long Time

It is estimated that 5.7 million people in the US alone have diabetes and don’t even know it. An estimated 50 million people have pre-diabetes. You should keep in mind that pre-diabetes is literally one tenth of a point away from being diagnosed with diabetes and health professionals don’t always agree on the cut-off point. Many people with pre-diabetes have no idea they are on the verge of getting diabetes. This information comes from the CDC which stands for the “Centers For Disease Control and Prevention,” a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services. This information is about as accurate as it gets since they are able to pull from several national medical databases.

Even Those Who Know They Are Diabetic Don’t Always Realize Just How Serious It Is

Ignorance is one of the biggest dangers of diabetes. This is especially true for diabetics that do not take insulin. They often don’t realize how serious they should take their illness. Some of them seem to think can take a pill or two every day and not worry about it after that. In fact, many family members should a great deal of frustration watching their diabetic loved one think all they have to do is take an extra pill before they go on a sugar binge. Nothing could be further from the truth but trying to convince some diabetics of this can be quite challenging.

Diabetics Die From the Complications of the Disease Rather Than the Disease Itself

Diabetes is an underlying metabolic disease that affects every system in your body. Therefore, diabetics suffer from many complications from the disease and they usually eventually die from one or more of these. If you get pancreatic cancer, you’ll likely die from pancreatic cancer. If you develop congestive heart failure, you’ll probably die from this. With diabetes, it doesn’t work this way exactly. You don’t die directly from diabetes but rather from the complications of the disease. If you have diabetes, you might die from heart disease, severe infection, kidney disease, or a combination thereof but not directly by diabetes. However, it was your diabetes that directly caused and/or exacerbated these complications. Death certificates don’t always mention diabetes even when that was the underlying cause of death, and for this reason, diabetes is a silent killer.