November is National Diabetes Month, an event designed to bring attention to diabetes and the impact this disease has every day on millions of Americans. According to the American Diabetes Association®, Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2015, 30.3 million Americans suffered from diabetes, and approximately 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in America alone. While there is no cure for diabetes yet, there are teams of researchers working hard to fight against this disease.
What is Diabetes?
There are three main types of Diabetes – Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed early in life, and only 5 percent of people with diabetes have this type. It was previously known as juvenile diabetes but has been renamed as it does not only occur in children. Type 1 diabetics are unable to produce insulin, a hormone that the body needs to get glucose, a simple sugar, from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. However, patients are often able to manage their condition and live long, happy lives with the help of insulin therapy and a combination of other treatments.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. In this type, the body does not use insulin properly and is insulin resistant. Essentially the body doesn’t function correctly which results in an elevated level of blood glucose.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, typically around 24th week. This diagnosis does not mean that the mother had diabetes before pregnancy or that she will have it after the baby is delivered. It’s important to consult with a doctor and adhere to a treatment plan to ensure both mother and child remain as healthy as possible.
The Impact of National Diabetes Month
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 30 million adults in American with diabetes and one out of four of them are unaware that they have it. Living each day with diabetes can be tremendously challenging. A diabetes diagnosis can mean hours spent in doctors’ offices, countless blood tests, insulin treatments administered by syringe or pump and mandatory lifestyle changes.
Every November, communities around the country band together for National Diabetes Month. By raising diabetes awareness, more support is generated for research teams, thus getting us one step closer to a cure.
How You Can Help
This November, you can do your part in the fight against diabetes. The easiest way is through social media. Just by posting on your feed, your message can potentially reach hundreds of people. Encourage your friends and family to share as well to expand your reach even farther.
You can also hold or participate in an event. November 14 is World Diabetes Day and there are sure to be activities in your area, so get out there and help spread awareness.
Many businesses, including AFC Urgent Care Waltham, are doing their part to raise awareness as well. Our location works hard to support diabetics every day of the year, not just in November. With fast treatments, minimal wait times and highly trained technicians, we’re glad to help those dealing with diabetes live a healthier life.