American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month, and November 14th is World Diabetes Day! This month is aimed at raising awareness about diabetes, advocating healthy lifestyles, and educating others for the sake of the health of future generations. Additionally, diabetes month serves to continually challenge the way this condition is approached and treated.

Whether or not you know someone who has diabetes, the condition is much more prevalent than you'd think. Diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin (or does not use insulin properly), thus causing high blood sugar. There are a couple of different reasons why this may happen among different individuals, and the exact cause of diabetes is still unknown, so diabetes is split into three categories: Type I, Type II, and Gestational. Type II diabetes is the most common, and is usually onset and exacerbated by poor diet choices and lack of exercise. The most dangerous thing about type II is that it is progressive, so it gets worse over time if no course of action is taken. So why is awareness about diabetes so important?

From the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) Diabetes Month Talking Points:

Why is awareness about diabetes important?
  • Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes.
  • Another 79 million adults in the United States have pre-diabetes, a condition that increases their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • If left undiagnosed or untreated, diabetes can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and even death. With early diagnosis and treatment, people with diabetes may prevent the development of these health problems.
  • The total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 is $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity.

Diabetes is a serious condition in which many factors can contribute to exacerbating other health issues, as shown above. It is extremely important that we not only raise awareness to help those currently fighting, but also educate the future generations about proper nutrition and fitness principles such that we can prevent this condition from worsening. The important thing to remember is that no one should ever have to fight the condition alone. From helping you on the day-to-day, to encouraging you through your daily diet and exercise, diabetes is something that is much easier to endure with the support of your family and friends. To take it one step further, expand your family and reach out to the diabetes community; strength in numbers! Though your contribution to the bigger picture may be small, every little bit counts!

This month, LegSmart's blog is going to be dedicated to Diabetes Awareness. We will discuss topics such as living with diabetes, ways to prevent diabetes, health and fitness, how compression socks may help diabetes patients, and many other topics. We always encourage you to engage in a discussion with us, whether you want to correct something we may have gotten wrong, or add on to something we said. Comment below to let us know what you think!