Every November, we rally against a condition that touches countless lives worldwide. National Diabetes Month, spearheaded by the American Diabetes Association, illuminates the path for those wrestling with this chronic disease and their support networks.
The monthlong event extends far beyond raising awareness. It sparks critical conversations about prevention, early detection, and managing the disease effectively. Moreover, it's a platform that builds understanding, urging individuals, healthcare professionals, and communities to unite and take action. Read on to learn more.
Featured in: November - Awareness Months, Days & Observances.
Amid growing unease about the health impacts of diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) took a bold step in 1975. They launched an awareness campaign aptly named National Diabetes Month. It occurs every November, coinciding with the birth month of Frederick Banting, one of the co-discoverers of insulin.
Fast forward to 1983, a solution from Congress and the endorsement from President Ronald Reagan catapulted National Diabetes Month onto the national stage. This supercharged the campaign's reach, making waves across the country.
As the years passed, the ADA and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) have been at the helm, steering National Diabetes Month.
In 2006, the introduction of World Diabetes Day on November 14 catapulted the cause into the international stage.
Today, National Diabetes Month continues to evolve. Its themes and initiatives, ever-changing, continue to show the significance of diabetes awareness. In 2023, the theme is Take Charge of Tomorrow: Preventing Diabetes Health Problems.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that manifests through high blood glucose symptoms2, also called blood sugar. The public may know more about this illness than the others, but it remains a complicated puzzle.
The disease comes in two primary forms: Type 1, where the body doesn't recognize insulin, and Type 2, where the body doesn't produce or use insulin effectively. Other types include genetic defects or drug-induced diabetes.
It can also lead to other complications like heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and mental health problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 37 million Americans, or 1 in 10 people, have diabetes. Shockingly, 1 in 5 are unaware of their condition1.
Furthermore, the CDC reports that nearly 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes. Without treatment, prediabetes can turn into Type 2 diabetes in just five years.
Diabetes also takes a heavy economic toll3. In 2017, the cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. reached a staggering $327 billion.
Risk factors for diabetes encompass several elements. Genetic makeup, dietary habits, physical activity levels, and family medical history contribute significantly. Additionally, specific racial and ethnic groups show a higher risk of developing the condition.
In terms of managing diabetes, a comprehensive approach often proves most effective. Regular physical exercise and a balanced diet lie at the foundation of this approach.
Moreover, consistent monitoring of blood sugar levels and adherence to prescribed medications are integral to management. Lastly, regular consultation with healthcare providers ensures progress tracking and necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
With the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and World Health Organization (WHO) at the forefront, global efforts to combat diabetes are gaining momentum.
Government initiatives are also throwing their weight behind the fight against diabetes. Take, for instance, the National Diabetes Prevention Program run by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It's a collaboration between public and private organizations, all with a singular goal - to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
For nonprofits, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is a beacon of hope for those with type 1 diabetes, providing a wealth of resources and actively funding research for a cure.
National Diabetes Month or National Diabetes Awareness Month annually paves the way for our collective fight against this chronic condition. This observance is not merely a stage to spread awareness; it's also urging us to rally together to act against the illness.
From supporting research to raising awareness online, let’s take the step that can bring us closer to a future where diabetes no longer endangers anyone.
National Diabetes Month is an annual awareness campaign held in November to educate and raise awareness about diabetes, its risks, prevention, and management.
You can participate in National Diabetes Month by spreading awareness, sharing information on social media, attending local events, supporting diabetes organizations, and encouraging others to get tested for diabetes.
Prevent diabetes through lifestyle changes. Regularly exercise, eat a balanced diet, and avoid smoking. If you already have it, manage diabetes together with medical professionals.
You can support individuals living with diabetes by being understanding and empathetic, offering encouragement and assistance, learning about diabetes management, and promoting a healthy and inclusive environment for people with diabetes.
American Diabetes Association. (2014). Diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care, 37(Supplement 1), S81-S90.
American Diabetes Association. (2018). Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care, 41(5), 917–928.
Isabela is a determined millennial passionate about continuously seeking out ways to make an impact. With a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering with honors, Isabela’s research expertise and interest in artistic works, coupled with a creative mindset, offers readers a fresh take on different environmental, social, and personal development topics.