Diabetes is an epidemic here in the United States. Because of this, we must continue to raise awareness of this disease.
The diabetes community has worked to raise awareness for the disease through Diabetes Awareness Month, which takes place every November. Whether you’re curious about the history of Diabetes Awareness Month, want to learn more about what diabetes is, or how you can help support those with diabetes, keep reading to find that out and more.
To kick things off, let’s go over some common frequently asked questions about Diabetes Awareness month.
Diabetes Awareness Month FAQs
When did Diabetes Awareness Month start?
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), National Diabetes Month was first recognized in 1975. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that Congress and U.S. presidents started passing proclamations recognizing November as diabetes month. In 1997, the ADA officially trademarked “American Diabetes Month.”
What day is World Diabetes Day?
There is also a World Diabetes Day on November 14th, which was established by the International Diabetes Federation in 1901. The data was chosen to commemorate the day Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best discovered insulin in 1921.
What is the color for Diabetes Awareness?
Blue and grey are both seen as colors attributed to diabetes awareness.
What is the logo/symbol for Diabetes Awareness?
There are a couple of different symbols you’ll often see that represent diabetes awareness. The first is the blue circle. The second is the blue and grey ribbon.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood glucose (or blood sugar) is too high. Blood glucose is the body’s main source of energy and services from the food you eat. Insulin, which is a hormone made in the pancreas, helps the glucose from the food we eat get into our cells to be used for energy.
People with diabetes have bodies that don’t make enough or any insulin. As a result, glucose then stays in their blood and doesn’t reach their cells. There are two main variations of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesn’t make any insulin. The immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Typically diagnosed in young adults and children, type 1 diabetes can still appear in older individuals. For people with type 1 diabetes, receiving insulin each and every day is necessary to stay alive. Type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn’t make or use insulin well.
Regardless of which type of diabetes a person has, keeping tabs on their blood glucose levels is important, and having a reliable blood glucose meter is a must.
U.S. Diabetes Statistics to Know
The National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020 was recently released. Here are some of the key findings:
- 34.2 million Americans—just over 1 in 10—have diabetes.
- 88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have prediabetes.
- New diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and people of Hispanic origin than non-Hispanic Asians and non-Hispanic whites.
- For adults diagnosed with diabetes:
- New cases significantly decreased from 2008 through 2018.
- The percentage of existing cases was highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives.
- 15% were smokers, 89% were overweight, and 38% were physically inactive.
- 37% had chronic kidney disease (stages 1 through 4), and fewer than 25% with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease (stage 3 or 4) were aware of their condition.
- Newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes have significantly increased among US youth.
- For ages 10 to 19 years, incidences of type 2 diabetes remained stable among non-Hispanic whites and increased for all others, especially non-Hispanic blacks.
Diabetes isn’t just a problem here in the U.S. According to the World Health Organization, roughly 422 million people have diabetes across the world.
How You Can Support Those With Diabetes Year Round
Find a Diabetes Charity to Support
There are many excellent diabetes charities that you can support not just during National Diabetes Awareness Month, but year-round too!
Read up on some of the best in this Healthline article.
If You’re an Employer, Make Sure Your Employees With Diabetes Have What They Need
Because so many people have diabetes, the odds that any given business—particularly medium to large-sized ones-have someone with diabetes is fairly high. Make sure that your healthcare coverage accounts for their needs as well. Reach out to Pops today if you’re interested in adding a cutting-edge glucose meter to your employee benefits today!
Read Up on How to Support Loved Ones With Diabetes
There are also a lot of great resources out there for learning how to be there for people you know who have diabetes. This article, titled “Dos and Don’ts: Supporting Loved Ones With Diabetes,” is a great way to learn more about making sure the people you care about with diabetes feel supported without being overbearing.
For more information on living with diabetes, check out the rest of our blog!