American Diabetes Awareness Month is an annual event celebrated in November. It is designed to raise awareness about diabetes, promote early detection and prevention, and support people living with diabetes. During the month of November, diabetes organizations across the country host various educational, fundraising and advocacy events. Some of these events include walks and runs, health fairs, virtual races, dinners and more. All of these activities are meant to help build a better understanding of diabetes and encourage individuals to make positive changes to decrease their risk.
According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020, prepared by the CDC, 34.2 million Americans-just over 1 in 10-have diabetes. Diabetes is one of the fastest growing medical conditions in the world. American Diabetes Month’s goal is to bring awareness about diabetes risk factors and encourage people to make healthy changes.
What is Diabetes:
Diabetes is a health condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. Most of the food we eat is broken down into glucose (sugar) which gives the body energy to function. When blood sugar goes up the pancreas releases insulin to allow the blood sugar to be used as energy. If the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, diabetes occurs.
Symptoms of diabetes include:
- Blurred Vision
- Wounds that take a long time to heal
- Weight Loss
Types of Diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
It is caused by an autoimmune reaction that stops your body from making insulin. About 5% of the people with diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It is usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. Those with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
It is when the body does not use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes.
It is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
It develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby could be at higher risk for health complications. Gestational diabetes is typically cured after your baby is born, but this increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. Your baby is more likely to become obese as a child or teen, and more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.