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Home » Diabetes » Diabetes Month – Diabetes Awareness, Getting Involved
November is Diabetes Awareness Month with November 14th being World Diabetes Day. This is a time dedicated to raising awareness about diabetes and the complications associated with it. Each year, a theme is given to America’s Diabetes Month, whether it’s understanding the link between diabetes and cardiovascular health or diabetes in the youth.
Diabetes is an illness often misunderstood and misrepresented. This is understandable considering there are two main types, both of which can be complex. So, for Diabetes Month we’re going to cover some facts and discuss ways for you to get involved.
Diabetes Month is important for a variety of reasons. Maybe once we rattle off some statistics around diabetes you will start to understand why.
First, let’s briefly cover the two main types of diabetes which are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is also known as juvenile diabetes and is an autoimmune disorder. Type 2 is not autoimmune and typically affects those that are later in their years and maybe overweight. Visit our blog for more information about the different types of diabetes.
Studies have shown that those with diabetes are twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke than those without diabetes. Diabetics suffer from high glucose in the blood, which can damage blood vessels. This would then explain why heart disease and stroke are factors to consider for diabetics.
The CDC reported that as of 2015, just over 30 million Americans have diabetes. Another 84 million have prediabetes or a condition that could lead to diabetes if left untreated. The report did not distinguish which type of diabetes this referred to but seemed to point to type 2.
It is estimated that over 1 million Americans have type 1 diabetes and 40,000 people are diagnosed every year. And the worst part? It is unclear what is causing type 1 diabetes. Plus, there is still no cure. It can only be treated with insulin which can be extremely expensive for some patients.
In 2016 approximately 1.6 million people died from diabetes. Another study stated that 2.2 million deaths were caused by high blood sugar in 2012. Those with type 1 diabetes lose nearly a decade off their life span compared to those without diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is preventable and there have been claims of people curing it with a strict diet. Despite this, research suggests that 1 of 3 adults has prediabetes. Meaning, they’ll end up with type 2 diabetes unless they change their lifestyle. But 90% of those people don’t even know that they have prediabetes!
When we think of diabetes, we often just assume that the only person affected is the person with the illness. As a person with type 1, I would strongly disagree. Yes, this has impacted my life, but it has also greatly affected those close to me. Families and loved ones can be affected on a financial and emotional level.
Insulin can cost up to 400 or 500 dollars a month depending on the brand. This isn’t even including all the other equipment diabetics need, such as glucagon, a glucometer, lancets, and test strips. This puts tension not just on the diabetic, but on the financial needs of the family.
A diabetic’s mood can often be influenced by their blood sugar. The higher their blood sugar the more irritable they may become. If their blood sugar is too low, then they can be quick-tempered or anxious. This can lead to additional stress on the individual’s family and close friends.
Hopefully, after reading this you are starting to understand the importance of Diabetes Month. This isn’t about just raising money to find a cure; it’s about saving lives. It’s about helping people realize how diabetes might impact them.
Now that you understand the importance of Diabetes Month, this is the time for you to speak up. Whether you are diabetic or not, get involved. Drawing attention to this could very well save someone’s life.
Based on the statistics, the chances are that someone close to you has diabetes or prediabetes. If you decide to speak up, you could very well impact their life. It may be what convinces them to either change their lifestyle or consult a doctor.
In 2006 a blue circle started symbolizing the cause for diabetes. Just like breast cancer has a pink ribbon, diabetes is recognized by a blue circle. The circle represents unity and represents life and health in many cultures. The color blue is similar to that of the United Nations flag, which is where the icon originated.
During Diabetes Month, especially on November 14th, wearing blue is one way to get involved. This makes people ask questions, providing you with the opportunity to tell them about diabetes.
Joining an organization can provide you with resources as well as community. Getting involved with an organization, such as JDRF or Beyond Type 1, can allow you to speak with and meet people that have similar struggles and common goals. Even if it’s just through Facebook, having that community does help on a social level.
On top of this, these organizations stay on top of the research and social trends. They can provide you with tips on dealing with diabetes that you otherwise wouldn’t know about. And for you nondiabetics, these organizations can help you understand what is going on with your friends or family members.
So, maybe for Diabetes Month, you make it a priority to join an organization.
We would encourage you to take to social media. Social media may not always be a good thing, but it can be a vehicle for great causes. It allows you to reach a wide span of people with just a few clicks.
Post some statistics about diabetes to your Instagram. If you are diabetic, take people on the journey with you through your social media story. Let them see how often you’re checking your blood sugar or what an average day looks like for you. I can guarantee this will allow people to see how difficult it can be to manage diabetes. Raising awareness is something we can all do to take a step closer to finding a cure.
We hope this has given you greater insight into Diabetes Month and its importance. It’s often an invisible condition but difficult to manage.
As mentioned above, affording your insulin can be tough. Insulin is a necessity and diabetics cannot live without it. This gives pharmaceutical companies a lot of power to control prices. Luckily, Prescription Hope may be able to help. Enroll with us and pay only $50 a month for each of your medications.
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