November is American Diabetes Month

Consider that while almost 30 million people in the U.S. have some form of diabetes, one in four don’t even realize they’re walking around with the disease. National Diabetes Month is an annual event each November to boost awareness about the risk factors, symptoms, and types of diabetes. If you have been recently diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2, or if you are considered pre-diabetic, hear the stories, check out the latest research, and connect with others who can help you on your journey to live a healthier life.


Commit to a healthier lifestyle.

Discover ways that you can live a little healthier by reviewing your habits. Are you getting enough sleep? Fatigue can cause a resistance to the insulin your body needs — and daytime tiredness can stop you from getting some life-saving exercise. Drink more water because dehydration keeps your body from functioning well. Be adventurous and add some new veggies and fruits to your diet to help keep those hunger pangs at bay.

Assemble a “sick day” kit.

It pays to be ready for those days when your diabetes or some other illness gets you down. With a “sick day” kit, you will be prepared in case you need to stay home and recuperate or head out to see your doctor. Some of the items in your kit may include blood glucose monitoring supplies, ketone test strips, glucose tablets or gel, a thermometer, hand sanitizer, an alarm clock or timer to stay on top of your glucose levels, and soft tissues. It is your list so tailor it for your needs.

Create a small cookbook.

There are restrictions on what people with diabetes can eat. But that should not stop you from enjoying tasty treats. Scour special cookbooks and websites designed for diabetics and experiment with recipes. Choose from delicious ice cream cakes using light sugar, reduced-fat whipped toppings, sugar-free hot fudge sauce, or low-cal casserole because you don’t have to suffer with less flavor because of diabetes.


  1. Ancient Egyptians knew about it.
    • An Egyptian manuscript dating around 1500 BC was one of the first documents in history describing diabetes as a disease.
  2. India at risk.
    • The vast majority of people in the world with diabetes reside in India.
  3. It is debilitating.
    • The leading cause of blindness, amputations, and kidney failure is diabetes.
  4. It can hurt your heart.
    • People with diabetes have a double risk of developing heart disease over those who do not suffer from it.
  5. It is costly.
    • If you factor in the costs for medical expenses and reduced productivity, diabetes costs over $245 billion each year.


There are two main conditions.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce insulin, a hormone in the pancreas that breaks down carbohydrates into blood sugar or glucose, for energy. Insulin therapy helps the pancreas to function normally. Many children suffer from Type 1 diabetes although it can affect people of any age or background. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease where the body is unable to process our internal insulin well enough to keep blood sugar at normal levels.

Know your risk factors.

You may be predisposed to Type 2 diabetes if you are overweight, older than 45, your parents had Type 2 diabetes, you barely exercise each week, and you have been diagnosed with prediabetes. Losing weight is a key preventive measure. With a 10-14 pound weight loss, you can improve your chances of avoiding or even beating diabetes. Try to exercise about 30 minutes a day, five times per week.

This year’s theme is gestational diabetes.

National Diabetes Month is focusing on gestational diabetes. This occurs to women who develop diabetes during pregnancy. Once a woman is diagnosed with this form of diabetes in pregnancy, she risks developing diabetes at some point later in her lifetime. You may also have a lifelong risk of diabetes if you give birth to a baby weighing over nine pounds.

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