November is American Diabetes month. With over 24 million Americans living with diabetes and thousands more who have it and are not yet aware of it, communities across the United States are taking part in events aimed at boosting awareness.
This month was designated to increase awareness of the rates of diabetes, provide information about the seriousness of diabetes and its complications, teach the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices and educate those with or at risk for developing diabetes about prevention, treatment, and management.
According to the ADA, it is estimated that 57 million people in our country are at risk for type 2 diabetes, the type that occurs later in life. Experts predict that it is a possibility in the near future that one of every three children born will have to live with diabetes at some point in his or her life because of the ongoing rate at which it is spreading.
Type 2 diabetes develops because the cells in the muscles, liver and fat don’t use insulin properly. Eventually, the pancreas can’t make enough insulin for the body’s needs. As a result, the amount of glucose in the blood increases while the cells are starved of energy. The National Institute of Health reports that by the time a person gets a diagnosis of diabetes, he or she has already had the underlying problems of insulin resistance and higher than average blood glucose for 5-10 years.
This November, and every month, if you or someone you care about is at risk, take a moment to think about making changes to help keep the diagnosis far away. For most, diabetes can be prevented or managed by living a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet and regular exercise program.