NHM Health Focus: American Diabetes Month
"Nearly 21 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes. It is the fifth deadliest disease in the U.S. and it has no cure." (ADA)
The National Diabetes Education Program reminds us that "about 65 percent of people with diabetes will die from a heart attack or stroke, yet two out of every three people with diabetes are unaware of their increased risk."
The good news: Diabetes can be prevented.
"By losing a modest amount of weight, by getting 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week and eating healthier, people with pre-diabetes can delay or prevent the onset of the disease. The "Small Steps. Big Rewards. Prevent type 2 Diabetes." campaign, the first-ever national diabetes prevention campaign, spreads this important message of hope to the millions of Americans with pre-diabetes." (NDEP)
"Control Your Diabetes. For Life" campaign includes tailored messages for the general audience and high-risk populations designed to increase awareness about the importance and benefits of diabetes control. (NDEP)
"Be Smart About Your Heart: Control the ABCs of Diabetes" makes the connection between diabetes and heart disease as it encourages people with diabetes to control not only their blood glucose (sugar), but also their blood pressure and cholesterol. By keeping all three levels as close to normal as possible, people with diabetes can live long, healthy lives. (NDEP)
Increasing awareness about the importance and benefits of diabetes control is the key objective of the "Control Your Diabetes. For Life." and National Diabetes Education Month
Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases characterized by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can be associated with serious complications and premature death, but people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
"There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not make a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps the body use sugar (also called glucose) for energy. People with Type 2 diabetes either do not have enough insulin or their cells ignore the insulin they have. Nearly 95% of people with diabetes have Type 2." (AAFP)
You are at higher risk for diabetes if it runs in your family, or if
you are Native American, Hispanic American, African American or Pacific
"Just 10 years ago, Type 2 diabetes was virtually unknown in children and adolescents. Indeed, the medical community commonly referred to the condition as 'adult onset diabetes.' Today, it accounts for almost 50 percent of new cases of pediatric diabetes in some communities. " (HHS)
Symptoms. People with diabetes may have SOME or NONE of the following
Complications of diabetes can include:
Prevention of complications:
At this time, Type 1 Diabetes cannot be prevented, but can be treated. Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented or the risk greatly reduced. In both cases, complications can be prevented by losing weight (if one is over weight), controlling glucose levels, and controlling blood pressure. A healthy diet and regular exercise are significant factors in preventing and reducing complications of diabetes.
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum has these resources related to diabetes: