As we enter November, it’s time to recognize National Diabetes Month.
Now in its third decade, the American Diabetes Association has spearheaded this annual event devoted to spreading awareness about diabetes. Each year in November, diabetes patients across the nation come together to discuss their challenges and successes in managing their condition. With an ever-increasing number of individuals affected by diabetes all around us, it’s increasingly important for both patients and physicians to strive toward better education on the subject so that we may further empower those living with this condition.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. It occurs when your blood glucose, otherwise known as your blood sugar, is too high. There is around 37 million Americans with some form of diabetes and the condition affects all ages. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, and it is linked to some types of cancer.
There are two main types of diabetes, type 1, and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body can’t produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone in the pancreas that breaks down the carbohydrates you eat into blood glucose and then uses it for energy. Fortunately, insulin therapy helps to treat this form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes where the body is unable to process insulin properly, resulting in irregular blood sugar levels. Luckily, this can be managed with diet, exercise, and medication.
There is good news with all this! Everything is looking brighter than ever for diabetes patients. Advances in treatment and lifestyle management over the last decade have created a dramatically different landscape; one that offers optimism instead of fear. From new products to better technology, diabetes management has come leaps and bounds since 2013.
As we recognize National Diabetes Month, let us take a moment to appreciate the progress made and look ahead at what is to come. Together, as doctors and patients, we can work together to advance our understanding of diabetes-related illnesses while continuing to promote healthy lifestyles, innovative treatments, and responsible medical practices.
With so many people in the world who either have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, it is important to be aware and educated about the disease. Be sure to look out for symptoms of diabetes such as being constantly thirsty or tired. Talk to your doctor about any symptoms you might have so you can be properly diagnosed.
For more information on National Diabetes Month, click here.
Article written by William Graves.