Each November since 1975 has been declared as National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM). “According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), National Diabetes Awareness Month was established 40 years ago in 1975” (Healthline). The prevalence of all forms of diabetes has only been increasing for the past 20 years. There are millions of Americans that may not be aware that they have a form of undiagnosed diabetes. The rise in occurence of diabetes will lead to more people being undiagnosed. Diabetes awareness is important because knowing could save you or a loved one.
Why Diabetes Awareness is important
- Undiagnosed Diabetes: According to the CDC “7.3 million adults aged 18 years or older who met laboratory criteria for diabetes were not aware of or did not report having diabetes” (CDC)
- Preventable: Some types of diabetes such as type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes can be prevented with proper lifestyle changes.
- High death rate: In 2021 there were over 100,000 deaths associated with diabetes (Reuters).This makes it the second year in a row that there were over 100,000 deaths related to diabetes.
- Diabetes and prediabetes are becoming more common.
As I mentioned before, all forms of diabetes have been increasing over the past 20 years. Bringing awareness to diabetes is very important for those who may have a form of undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes.
Common Types of Diabetes
- Prediabetes: This is a form of diabetes that develops and causes your blood sugar to be high and increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes among other things and more than 80% don’t know they have it.
- Type 1 Diabetes: This is when the pancreas produces little or no insulin which helps the body use blood sugar for energy. Previously referred to as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes as most cases developed in children, teenagers, or young adults. (CDC)
- Type 2 Diabetes: This is also when your body is unable to produce enough or any insulin for your body to use as energy. This develops more often for adults over 45 predominantly but we are seeing more cases develop for younger people as well.
- Gestational Diabetes: This is a form of diabetes some women develop during pregnancy without having had diabetes before.
Early detection of diabetes will be possible with diabetes awareness. Knowing risk factors can help people discuss the possibility of developing diabetes with their doctors.
Risk factors and early detection
- Having Prediabetes (Type 2)
- Not physically active during the week (Type 2 and Prediabetes)
- Are Overweight (Type 2 and Prediabetes)
- “Are an African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native person. Some Pacific Islanders and Asian American people are also at higher risk.” (CDC)
- Are 45 or older (Type 2 and Prediabetes)
- Family History and Age (Type 1 and Type 2)
- Previously had Gestational Diabetes during pregancy
- Gave birth to a baby weighing 9 or more pounds
- Over 25 years old and Overweight (Gestational Diabetes)
Now knowing some information about the types of diabetes as well as the risk factors, how will you be able to spread awareness?
How you can help during Diabetes Awareness Month
- Wearing blue.
- Share diabetes information on social media.
- Participate in a funding event such as a walk.
- Donate to diabetic research.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Continuing to learn about diabetes.
- Joining or supporting diabetic support groups.
As the amount of people that may develop diabetes grows, we will need to put more resources into bringing awareness to this issue. Early detection will help prevent any futher diabetes complications. Spreading awareness will allow people to understand their risk factors and prevent it early. If you or a loved one is seeking additional help click here Yumlish to find out how you can join a diabetes prevention program with one of our coaches or find additional resources related to preventing type 2 diabetes.