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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month- How to be a part of the cure

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My father was 46 years old when he first discovered he had diabetes. My roommate was only 27. It’s amazing how this incurable disease can affect the lives of so many people today. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 26 million children and adults have diabetes in the U.S. An additional 79 million are at risk for type 2 every year.

I was a scared little 16-year-old girl in the hospital when my father was first diagnosed. According to the doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital, he had had diabetes for two year before his heart attack. Being more likely to obtain this disease at a later age, I learned many things from my father’s cardiologist in order to prevent diabetes and stay healthy, as many times this disease can be hereditary.

November is known as Diabetes Month. So whether you are a carrier, or know a loved one who is at risk, there are a few facts and several resources of information you should know.

What is diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. With this type of diabetes, the body does not produce any insulin, a natural hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other foods into energy needed for daily life. This form of diabetes is rare; only about 5% are diagnosed with this particular strand.

Type 2 diabetes if the most common form that can be seen in 2-year-olds to 70-year-olds. With this form of diabetes, either the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells completely ignore it. Usually, type 2 is something a little more manageable, though both forms are extremely stressful. It is a complete lifestyle change. There are a lot of different things you can do to keep healthy. Although diets for diabetics are very restricted, you have some flexibility. With a little planning and organization, you can still have your favorite foods on a healthier and moderate basis.

Symptoms

Many times, diabetes goes undiagnosed because many of the symptoms seem minuscule and unimportant.

Type 1:

  • Frequent urinations
  • Unusual thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irritability

Type 2:

  • Frequent infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Cuts/bruises that heal slowly
  • Tingling/numbness of hands and/or feet
  • Type 1 symptoms

Prevention

Do you want to miss your child’s college graduation, wedding day, first grandchild, because you were reluctant to change your lifestyle? Like any health condition, dieting and exercise is extremely important to help the prevention of diabetes. Increase your physical activity to maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, dropping numerous pounds could reduce medication dosages. Don’t miss out on the big moments in life. Take charge; change for the better.

American Diabetes Association

“Our goal for this month and beyond is to magnify the presence diabetes holds in the overall American consciousness.”- Dr. Beth Mayer-Davis, President of Health Care and Education for the American Diabetes Association.

For the past 35 years, the Association has used to month of November to highlight the impact this has had on people and their families throughout the nation. Spotlighting valuable contributions to help stop diabetes is a significant aspect the Association would like to celebrate this year.  Share your own stories or the story of a loved one, and how it has affected you, through the ADA’s Facebook to join the fight against Diabetes. Perhaps by reading others’ stories, you may be able to obtain some insight or valuable lesson you may have not known before and to better help this catastrophe. Dr. Beth Mayer-Davis also said, “By 2050, as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes.”

Take a stand this month and contribute to help others at www.facebook.com/AmericanDiabetesAssociation. Or visit them online at www.diabetes.org.

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Comments
  • comment avatar PremmieMom November 14, 2011

    November is also Prematurity Awareness Month with November 17 being Worldwide Prematurity Awareness Day. I sincerely hope that in addition to focusing on National Diabetes Month that MHM will also focus on Prematurity Awareness Month since prematurity affects 1 in 8 babies and is the leading cause of death in infants.

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