National Diabetes Month: 7 Ways to Get Involved
November is National Diabetes Month, a time to raise awareness about the various types of diabetes, including pre-diabetes, diabetes type 1 and type 2, and gestational diabetes. Over the last two decades, America has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of persons newly diagnosed with diabetes. Currently, there are 37 million adults and children living with diabetes1 and an additional 88 million adults at risk of getting diabetes. 2
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that develops when the body's natural insulin cannot regulate blood sugar levels and becomes higher than it should be. Uncontrollable blood sugar levels can result in debilitating health issues such as kidney disease, heart disease, and some cancers and lead to loss of vision and nerve damage.1
Younger adults are living with type 2 diabetes more than ever, predisposing them to other health issues later in life. The cost of treating diabetes is high due to medical expenses and lower productivity, with the increase in insulin prices adding a burden to the family budget.3 That's why it is essential to raise awareness of the risk factors of diabetes and how to manage it. Luckily adopting a healthy lifestyle can prevent type 2 diabetes. Also, early detection at the pre-diabetes stage makes it easier to manage it without adverse health outcomes.
What is National Diabetes Month?
National Diabetes Month is a time to raise awareness on how to prevent the disease for the millions at risk and give ways to manage it for those already living with the disease and an opportunity for those already affected to share their experiences to encourage others to prevent it.
National Diabetes Month is celebrated every November 14 to mark the birthday of Dr. Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin and helped save lives and manage the condition for millions of diabetic patients worldwide.4 Government agencies, organizations, research institutions, and pharmaceutical companies have various events and campaigns to commemorate the day.
What is the Theme of the National Diabetes Month 2022
The 2022 theme is "Diabetes Management: It takes a team." It is time to build awareness of diabetes and support diabetics with a care plan. Get more information on diabetes management at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. You will get printables that you can share with others on social media or print and share with others living with diabetes.
How to Celebrate National Diabetes Month
1. Commit To A Healthier Lifestyle.
Did you know that your lifestyle can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes? Factors such as inadequate sleep, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise can cause insulin resistance. Here are some helpful health tips.
- Maintain a healthy weight and adopt a regular exercise routine, especially if you are above 45 years and have a family history of diabetes, to reduce your risk. Losing 10-14 pounds can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes.3
- Plan to exercise for 30 minutes five days a week. Set a goal for yourself and aim to stay active most days of the week while adhering to a diabetic food plan.
- Start with small changes and adopt healthy eating habits. A healthy diet comprises whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, legumes, and low fat dairy.
- Commit to drinking enough water to improve your body's performance.
2. Get a Diabetes Risk Test.
Take an online diabetes risk test if you don't have diabetes or have never taken the test. Half of the people at risk of diabetes are unaware of the condition. When you learn as much as possible, take a quiz to check your knowledge. Also, check your blood pressure and weight checked.
3. Plan A Diabetes Care Plan With Your Healthcare Provider
Quick management of diabetes can reduce the health complications that come with diabetes, such as kidney diseases, loss of vision, and heart disease. If you have diabetes, plan a diabetic care plan with your healthcare provider team, which could include a nutritionist, diabetes educator, and physician who will plan your care according to your needs.
Plan appointments and prepare questions to ask them. Take notes and attend the follow-up visits. Always keep track of your blood glucose levels through regular tests.
4. Educate Yourself About Diabetes
National Diabetes Month is an excellent opportunity to interact with other diabetics and caregivers. If you already have diabetes, learn as much as possible about the disease from your healthcare provider. Read blogs on diabetes and share valuable tips with others to increase awareness. Also, join a support group to help you get support when you feel overwhelmed, depressed or sick. Get these groups from your local hospital or join online diabetic communities.
5. Make A Healthy Cookbook.
Assemble your favorite recipes in a cookbook. Although having diabetes restricts you from certain foods, you can still enjoy healthy treats. Buy low carb cookbooks or search for the recipes online and give them a try. Mark your favorite treats for days you need a quick meal.
6. Post on Social Media
Increase diabetes awareness by posting on social media. Take a selfie in the blue circle, the worldwide diabetes sign, and post it on social media whether you have diabetes or want to raise awareness. You can find the blue circle in the app by the International Diabetes Federation.
If you already have diabetes, you can also share your experience living with the condition on your blog or social media or record a video sharing what lifestyle medications have helped you manage the condition to help those newly diagnosed. Don't forget to use the hashtag: #nationaldiabetesawarenessmonth.
7. Participate In National Diabetes Month Events
You can participate in your area's events, such as webinars, walks, or screening campaigns. Join the walks or runs planned by different organizations that seek to raise awareness of diabetes.
National Diabetes Month is an excellent time for promoting awareness and action against diabetes. We can all join hands and raise awareness of the risk factors, symptoms, prevention, and management of diabetes. Do your part and participate in this noble course. Buy healthy produce from Mother Earth products to help you prevent and manage diabetes, such as sweet potatoes, apples, beans, and broccoli, among others. Click here to buy now.