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November 2006

NHM Health Focus: American Diabetes Month

About Diabetes
  - National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC)
  - Overview of Diabetes in Children & Adolescents (NDEP)
  - All About Diabetes (American Diabetes Assn.)
  - Diabetes (MedlinePlus, NLM)
  - Diabetes Prevention and Control (NYC DOHMH)
  - Diabetes (Librarians' Index to the Internet)
  - Diabetes Center (DiscoveryHealth.com)

  - Diabetic Retinopathy (Prevent Blindness America)
  - Growth of Diabetes and What to Do About It (Health Politics)

Resources For Students
  - National Diabetes Month (Girl Power, HHS)
  - Meet Lou, Your Diabetes Educator (ADA)
  - Youth Zone (American Diabetes Association)
  - JDRF Kids Online (JDRF)
  - For Teens (American Diabetes Assn.)
  - Life with Diabetes for Teens (JDRF)
  - Type 1 Diabetes: What is it? (Nemours)
  - Diabetes: What's True and False (Nemours)
  - The Endocrine System: Pancreas (MyHealthScore.com)
  -
Children, Diabetes and Special Occasions (CDA)

Resources for Teachers and Parents
  - For Schools (American Diabetes Association)

  - For Parents and Kids (American Diabetes Assn.)
  - Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed (NDEP)

"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)

Campaigns like those sponsored by the National Diabetes Edcuation Program and the American Diabetic Association are designed to raise awareness of and support for those with diabetes.

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 Islander. (CDC)

"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)

Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes? (NDIC)

Diabetes Risk Test (also available in Spanish and Chinese)

Symptoms. People with diabetes may have SOME or NONE of the following symptoms:
   • Frequent urination
   • Excessive thirst
   • Unexplained weight loss
   • Extreme hunger
   • Sudden vision changes
   • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
   • Feeling very tired much of the time
   • Very dry skin
   • Sores that are slow to heal
   • More infections than usual
In addition nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called Type 1 diabetes. (CDC)

Complications of diabetes can include:
   • Heart disease and stroke
   • Stillbirths, congenital malformations, and cesarean sections
   • Flu- and pneumonia-related deaths
   • High blood pressure
   • Blindness
   • Kidney disease
   • Nervous system disease
   • Amputations
   • Dental disease
   • Complications of pregnancy
Complications of uncontrolled diabetes may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolar (nonketotic) coma. In addition, people with diabetes are more susceptible to many other illnesses and, once they acquire these illnesses, often have worse prognoses. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Prevention of complications:
   • Glucose control reduces the risk of eye, kidney, and nerve disease) by 40%.
   • Preventive care practices for eyes can reduce severe vision loss by an estimated 50% to 60%.
   • Preventive care for kidneys can reduce the decline in kidney function by 30% to 70%.
   • Preventive care for feet can reduce amputation rates by 45% to 85%.
   • Blood pressure control can reduce heart disease and stroke by 33% to 50%, and eye, kidney, and nerve disease by approximately 33%. National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2003 (CDC)

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: