November is the month where you start thinking about eating turkey and buying presents. It is also a month about raising awareness about diabetes. Every year during the month of November, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has an event to boost awareness about the risk factors, symptoms, and types of diabetes. With a goal of bringing the community together to ring the alarm on the diabetes epidemic.
There is almost 30 million people in the U.S. alone that have some form of diabetes and millions of us who are at risk for it. One in four of those almost 30 million people probably don’t even realize they’re walking around with the disease. 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 (sugar) and then uses it for energy. This can happen at any age and there are ways, such as insulin therapy, to treat it. 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 medications.
Now that you are aware of the two main forms of diabetes, there is one other type that ADA would like to focus on this year. Gestational diabetes is probably one of the scariest diagnoses you can get when it comes to diabetes. Because this diagnosis happens while a woman is pregnant. There is no known cause for gestational diabetes, and it can happen to millions of women. But this diagnosis is not indicative of women having diabetes before pregnancy or that women will have diabetes after they give birth. Like other forms of diabetes, it can be managed. By working with your doctor, you can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. The key to treating it is to act quickly before gestational diabetes can hurt you and your baby.
With so many people in the world either at risk or have diabetes, it is important to be aware and get educated about the disease. Be sure to look out for symptoms of diabetes such as being constantly thirsty or tired. And talk to your doctor about any symptoms you might have so you can be properly diagnosed. Thankfully, diabetes can be managed through diet, exercise and the help of your doctor.
For more information on National Diabetes Month, click here.
Article written by William Graves.