November is known as American Diabetes Month across the country and is seen as a great time to shed light on this serious disease. Through collective action, there may be hope to cut down on the effects diabetes has on our population. Simple yet effective steps can be taken to reduce our risk and make life better for those that are already diagnosed.
Our team proudly joins with the American Diabetes Association to recognize this month and help raise awareness of this chronic disease. We support prevention and improved disease management within diabetics and their communities.
Unfortunately, over one in ten Americans have diabetes, amounting to approximately 34 million people. An additional 88 million American adults are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S.
How to Get Involved This Month
There are many great ways to get involved during American Diabetes Month. For over four decades, November has been a time where people with diabetes, care providers, and their communities come together to shine a light on diabetes. Doing so helps tremendously to support research and save lives.
If you’re interested in building awareness this month, start by taking a selfie with a blue circle. This has become the universal symbol for diabetes, so sharing a picture on social media can help spread awareness. You can also choose to take a test to determine whether you have diabetes yourself. Around one in every two people with diabetes don’t know that they have it!
Another great activity is to share valuable diabetes information within your community. Spread helpful tips or stories with others to raise awareness about diabetes. You can also share what it’s like to live with diabetes if you are diabetic yourself. Finally, look into joining one of many events the American Diabetes Association hosts this month. There are plenty of talks, fundraisers, walks, and other events happening around the country.
Types of Diabetes
If you are unfamiliar with the different types of diabetes, take the time to understand the major ones here:
- Type 1 Diabetes: An autoimmune disorder that usually starts before adulthood sets in. The immune system destroys cells within the body that make insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar
- Type 2 Diabetes: Typically starts off in middle-aged people when their body is no longer able to properly use insulin and regulate blood glucose levels
- Gestational Diabetes: Occurs during pregnancy when the body is not able to use insulin properly. This is similar to type 2 diabetes
Approximately 95% of diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes, with the rest typically being type 1 diabetes. There are also around 88 million Americans with prediabetes of which 84% are unaware of their status!
Managing & Preventing Diabetes
Fortunately, people at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes can cut their risk levels in half by adopting a healthy lifestyle and good eating habits. In fact, focusing on things like eating healthy foods, becoming more active, and shedding extra weight can help over 80% of those at risk. Small changes can make a big difference if done consistently, like watching your portions or cutting down on sugary drinks.
Seek support from your community and health care professionals when making positive lifestyle changes. Their encouragement can make it easier to stay on track and build healthy habits that prevent or reduce diabetes complications.
As you can see, American Diabetes Month is a great time for people to focus in on their health and build awareness around this disease. Help yourself and those around you understand the risks of developing diabetes and the best ways to prevent it from forming.
If you are unsure about whether or not you have diabetes, this month is a great time to get tested. Finally, if you do have diabetes and are noticing any problems with your vision, contact us to schedule an appointment today!