November is American Diabetes Awareness Month

Kari Hunter

November is American Diabetes Awareness Month; it is the time to raise awareness about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes by educating others on its impact on millions in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. The Mayo Clinic stated that the disease affects how your body regulates blood sugar. Blood sugar is essential to your health because it is the main source of energy for the major organs. The chronic condition includes four types: Type 1 and Type 2 are the irreversible conditions whereas Prediabetes and Gestational diabetes can be reversed before reaching a definite diagnosis.

There is power in early knowledge to help prevent the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. Family genetics and diet can increase the risk. Some effects of this condition are blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health issues that arise when left untreated. Surprisingly, this chronic condition can make a person seem drunk and cause them to stagger or slur their words in a drunk-like appearance. Next time someone seems drunk, do not make the assumption because they could have diabetes and should be helped immediately.

The American Diabetes Association published a list of typical symptoms: increased thirst, frequent urination, bed-wetting, extreme hunger, irritability, mood changes, fatigue, and blurred vision. Seeking help from a health professional is a great way to understand what exactly is going on in your body.

American Diabetes Association examined the cost of this disease. In 2017, diabetic patients spent over $16,000 a year on healthcare costs related to their disease. Most of the money is spent on medical supplies that help the patient with regulating their condition. Although there are advanced medical devices available, such as Dexcom that measures blood sugar levels that can be sent directly to the user’s phone and Omnipod, a remote-controlled insulin pump attached to the user, many patients can’t afford them. In addition, diabetics must have eye, dental, foot, and dietitian exams that are also pricey. The overall cost can vary depending on the type of diabetes and medical insurance plans. Altogether, the cost of this condition presents a large problem in the diabetic community.

You can also get involved by posting about the disease on social media using the hashtags #NDAM and #DiabetesAwarenessMonth and by wearing blue every Friday. There are also various organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, Children’s Diabetes Foundation, and Diabetes Research Institute Foundation that need funding as they are searching for a cure. Some of these organizations also have volunteer opportunities that involve supporting a local event, working at one of their local offices, or raising funds. Being able to understand and find ways to aid the diabetic community can help reduce the impact of this global epidemic.