Every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes, making it one of the most aggressive and costly health issues. One in three Americans is diabetic or pre-diabetic.
Scott Rogers checks his blood glucose levels at least three times a day since he was diagnosed in May 2010. That day, his blood levels were dangerously high.
"I'm told by my doctor had I been at that level a whole lot longer I would have been diagnosed when they brought me in in a coma," Rogers said.
The International Diabetes Federation says at the current rate there will be three new cases of diabetes worldwide every 10 seconds.
Many experts say unhealthy diet and exercise habits contribute to the rise in cases.
"It's a disease of diet and lifestyle and the westernized diet and lifestyle is becoming international," said Susan Levin, director of nutrition for the physicians' committee for responsible medicine.
"We overdo everything. Even when you go to the restaurants you order a plate and they give you enough for three people," said D.C. resident Yvonne Harmon.
Levin say the diabetes crisis can be averted with diet and exercise. A study by the National Institutes of Health with diabetes patients on a plant-based diet yielded impressive results.
"Their symptoms actually reversed," Levin says. "They got off their medications or lowered their medications so that's the good news. This is not a life sentence. This can be reversed."
Rogers says he exercises more, eats healthy foods and may soon no longer need his medication.
"I'm now reduced from 54 to 30 to 15 and now I'm almost just not taking it," he said.
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