National Diabetes Awareness Month, which occurs every November in the United States, is a time for millions of Americans who are at risk for diabetes to get educated. It’s also a time for the millions of Americans living with diabetes to share their stories with the world.
The focus of National Diabetes Month 2021 is on prediabetes and preventing diabetes. One of the main goals for National Diabetes Month 2021 is to raise awareness that while prediabetes is a serious health condition, it can be managed or even reversed. That’s why this year’s theme for National Diabetes Awareness Month is: Small Steps, Big Difference: Preventing diabetes is within your reach.
As a brand that believes it’s the first small steps, the simple wins, and the guilty pleasures that bring the most joy, we’re excited to shine a light on National Diabetes Month 2021 in an effort to create greater awareness about prediabetes and how to prevent diabetes.
Importance Of National Diabetes Month
An estimated 30 million Americans, or almost 10% of Americans, have diabetes. And more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults, or 88 million Americans, have prediabetes, which is a serious health condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
To make matters worse, the majority of people don’t even know that they have prediabetes in the first place. While that’s certainly alarming, the good news is that by making small healthy lifestyle changes, it is possible for people to prevent type 2 diabetes and even reverse prediabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes: It doesn’t matter whether you’re old or young, big or small, type 1 diabetes occurs at every age and in people of every race, shape, and size. In type 1 diabetes, a person’s body does not produce insulin, which is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of a person’s body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, it’s possible for people with type 1 diabetes to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives as long as they create a healthy lifestyle that includes both exercise and a proper diet.
Type 2 Diabetes: The most common form of diabetes, type 2 diabetes means that a person’s body doesn’t use insulin properly. Some people are able to control their blood sugar levels
through healthy eating and exercise, but others may need medication or insulin to help manage it. One of the most important aspects of managing type 2 diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet. It’s extremely important for people with type 2 diabetes to find foods to eat that are sustainable and that help them feel better. These foods should also make them feel happy and well fed. People with type 2 diabetes may benefit from clean eating, especially when they’re first creating a diet plan that best suits their lifestyle. People with type 2 diabetes should also be exercising regularly, as well.
Gestational Diabetes: Up to 1 in every 10 pregnancies in the United States is affected by gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes is found for the first time when a woman is pregnant. However, as long as women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes work with their doctors, they can still have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. It also doesn’t mean that the woman had diabetes before she conceived or that she’ll have diabetes after she gives birth since gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. That said, women with a history of gestational diabetes do have a lifelong risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So, women who develop gestational diabetes should get follow up testing done for diabetes.
Prediabetes: There are no clear prediabetes symptoms, which is part of the reason why so many people who have prediabetes don’t even know that they do. That said, people who develop type 2 diabetes almost always have prediabetes – blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. That’s why it’s important to check with your doctor and get tested. And if you do find out that you do have prediabetes, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to develop type 2 diabetes. In fact, small lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on managing diabetes or preventing it all together.
Smart Tips To Help Manage Prediabetes And Diabetes
Talk To Your Doctor: Always speak with your doctor before starting any lifestyle plan related to managing prediabetes or diabetes. Since it is possible to reverse prediabetes, schedule a visit with your doctor and ask to get tested. If you find out that you do have prediabetes, then come up with a plan, track your progress.
Start Small: We all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes lots of time and dedication to develop greatness. That’s why you shouldn’t try to completely revamp your lifestyle overnight. Instead, make small changes to your lifestyle and daily habits each and every day. And if you have any setbacks along the way, don’t sweat it. This type of stuff happens all the time and is actually to be expected. As you know, it doesn’t matter if you get knocked down, what matters is that you’re willing to get back up and start again. So, focus on slow and steady progress, rather than trying to change and fix everything all at once.
Eat Healthy And Balanced Meals: Healthy eating is one of the keys to healthy living. So, pick foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and sugar. Try to also plan for all of your meals to have a healthy balance of starches, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats. Also, drink water and steer clear of sweetened drinks.
Move Your Body And Exercise: Regular physical activity helps your body use insulin more efficiently since when you exercise your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. So, try to get out five to six times each week and walk for about 20 to 30 minutes on those days. This way you’ll get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity in, which is what’s recommended for most adults. Try to also limit the amount of time that you’re sitting each day, too.
Lose Weight: Some people may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5% to 7% of their starting weight.
Seek Support From Loved Ones: Make sure to lean on your friends and family for support when you need it.
Ways To Spread Awareness About Diabetes During National Diabetes Month
Take Part In World Diabetes Day: World Diabetes Day takes place each year on November 14th, which is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922. World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign, reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign is represented by the blue circle logo, which is the global symbol for diabetes.
Share Your Story (Or Other Success Stories): If you’re someone living with diabetes, share your story (as long as you’re comfortable doing so). Let others know that you can still live a wonderful life as long as you live a healthy lifestyle and manage your symptoms. If you happen to be more of a private person, you can highlight all of the successful people – doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, rock stars, politicians, actors, professional athletes, and CEOs – who all have diabetes and are thriving even as they manage their diabetes. Or you can simply share National Diabetes Month 2021 social media content on your social media pages or with your friends, family, and colleagues.
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