World Diabetes Day!

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, which seeks to promote awareness of the disease of diabetes, including its risk factors, possible complications, and prevention. National Diabetes Day is November 14th, which has an even more pointed goal of showing people the impact diabetes can have on the lives of those affected by it and by bringing awareness to prevention techniques, management methods, and risk factors.

Diabetes Awareness

Nearly 10% of Americans (over 30 million people) have diabetes. Another 80 million have prediabetes, which generally leads to diabetes within 5 years if not treated. The prevalence of diabetes in our society is not something to ignore or take lightly, which is why the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization began World Diabetes Day in 1991.

World Diabetes Day is the largest campaign to promote diabetes awareness, and its impact reaches over 1 billion people in 160 different countries. The campaign strives to encourage individuals and organizations to recognize diabetes as a critical global health issue and take action in confronting and combating it, both before and after a diagnosis.

Risk Factors

One of the key methods of raising diabetes awareness is to make known the risk factors that contribute to its prevalence. Some risk factors simply cannot be avoided or controlled, like having family members with diabetes or getting older. However, several risk factors can be avoided and as the health of individuals is managed properly. The primary controllable risk factors include the following:

  • Being overweight
  • A lack of physical activity
  • High blood pressure
  • Unhealthy eating habits

You can lower your risk of getting diabetes (even if you’re prediabetic) by taking control of your health and lifestyle and eliminating these risk factors from your life. Talk to your doctor about managing your weight, beginning an exercise program, maintaining a safe and healthy blood pressure, and changing your diet.

Diabetes Awareness and Prevention

Maintaining your health and being aware of the risks and early signs of prediabetes is the key to staying healthy. If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with your doctor to get screened for diabetes:

  • Being hungry and tired regularly, even when you’ve had enough to eat and enough sleep
  • Urinating more often and being thirstier than normal
  • Having a dry mouth and/or itchy skin
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased number of yeast infections
  • Slow-healing cuts
  • Numbness and/or pain in legs and feet
  • Unintentional and unexplained weight loss

It’s far better to be ahead of a sickness or disease rather than dealing with the treatment of it, so aim to get your health, eating habits, weight, and more in top-notch shape as soon as possible. Lowering your risk by eliminating risk factors is by far the best way to prevent diabetes, which is why the International Diabetes Federation began World Diabetes Day in the first place. Their passion for educating people about the risks, prevention, and management of diabetes is helping more and more people become aware of the disease and take control of their health.