Today in History

National Diabetes Month

Author: Best Brains Oct 25, 2017

Every November, National Diabetes Month is observed by communities across the country to bring awareness to this chronic disease and its impact on millions of people. The goal of National Diabetes Month is to slow the widespread growth of diabetes and pre-diabetes in the United States.

However, a national effort to end diabetes was first started by the American Diabetes Association’s Stop Diabetes campaign. This campaign directed people to take an online risk test to measure their personal risk of developing pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes. Then, they are refered to a health specialist who can recheck their test results, analyze their risk, and layout a strategy to avoid developing the disease or to manage the symptoms.

Living with diabetes can be challenging since managing the symptoms is a big task. National Diabetes Month helps connect people who have just been diagnosed or are in danger of developing the disease with resources, health care professionals, and support networks who can make life with diabetes easier.

But what if you or a family member has been living with diabetes for years? Is there anything National Diabetes Month can offer you? Yes, of course, there is! For people who already have diabetes, it’s a good time to take a look at your diabetes management, ask yourself how things are going, and find out how you can improve it, as well as discovering the latest research and mangement tools.

Whether you have diabetes or not, we can all commit ourselves to new healthy habits for one month. Here are some tips for you which may help you to stay in good health:

Lifestyle habits — are not just eating and exercising. There are many good habits and behaviors to adopt which can affect your blood glucose levels directly or indirectly.

More sleep — Not getting enough sleep can increase insulin resistance, meaning your body needs more insulin to get glucose into your cells. This can lead to higher blood glucose levels and is supposed to have other negative health effects. Inadequate sleep also tends to leave you feeling fatigued during the day, and makes harder for you to exercise, eat right, think and remember, and cope with stress.

Drink more water — Dehydration can make you feel tired and because thirst is often mistaken for hunger, it can also make you eat more. Drinking more water can make you feel soothed and help your body function better . But remember, even if you’re not dehydrated, drinking more water in place of caloric or alcoholic beverages is better for your health. The calories consumed in liquids don’t tend to satisfy hunger the way calories in food do, so make a habit to intake more liquids, and quench your thirst with water, then eat food if you’re hungry.

Check for symptoms — Try to inspect your feet every day. You may not find anything noteworthy on your feet in a month of daily checking, but it’s never too early to familiarize yourself with what your feet normally look like. That way, if you find any changes in the future, it will motivate you to see a specialist for an informed opinion.

Try a new fruit or vegetable — Fruits and vegetables offer many nutrition benefits, which include fiber, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals that are essential for everyone. While the amounts of various nutrients vary from different fruits and vegetables, consuming a variety of fruits and veggies is an excellent way to gain the full range of benefits.

How to observe this day

Find a diabetes-related event or activity that takes place in your area. Many organizations sponsor events such as health fairs, walkathons, support groups, bike rides, and other activities that are aimed at raising public awareness of diabetes, or which offer education and support to people living with diabetes. Not all of them take place during November, but most will have information available on when and how to sign up for upcoming events.