November is Diabetes Awareness Month. In recognition of this event, fundraisers, social media events, and campaigns are all designed to draw attention to diabetes and those who live with it every single day.
So, how can you participate to help raise awareness for diabetes? Keep reading to learn more.
Why Is This Month Important?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 34.2 million people in the US currently have diabetes (as of 2020). That’s 10.5% of the population living with this condition. Worldwide, that number jumps to about 463 million adults, with the potential to reach 700 million by the year 2045.
Raising diabetes awareness can help lower these numbers. Because prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, making people aware of the signs and symptoms can reduce their risk.
It can also help people already living with diabetes understand how best to manage their condition and dispel potentially harmful myths or common practices.
How to Predict Prediabetes and Diabetes
This scenario may be familiar: you visit your doctor for your physical or have blood work done and your glucose levels come back high. Your doctor tells you this is prediabetes — you’re likely to have a lot of questions. That’s okay! You’re not alone.
The CDC estimates that 88 million people in the US (that’s about 1 in 3) have prediabetes. Furthermore, 84% of those people are unaware they have it. Improving levels of diabetes awareness will help lower that number.
This is essential because if left untreated, prediabetes can develop into Type 2 diabetes (the most common type). There is no one cause of prediabetes, but a few factors can help predict it:
- Weight and diet
- Family history of diabetes
- Previous instance of gestational diabetes
- Lifestyle factors like smoking
- Sleep apnea
In addition to prediabetes and Type 2, there’s Type 1 diabetes. It accounts for about 5–10% of diagnosed cases, and unlike the other two kinds, is not preventable. It’s believed to be caused by an autoimmune response.
Raising diabetes awareness can help prevent or delay potentially serious health complications from all forms of the disease.
How to Raise Awareness
1) Create Support
Some of the stereotypes and myths surrounding diabetes can be harmful. For example, while diet and lifestyle can play a role in who develops Type 2 diabetes, it’s not always caused by eating too much sugar or not exercising.
Create a supportive space for people in your life living with diabetes. Raising awareness about the disease, its causes, and its treatment can help dispel these myths and show the people in your life that you’re a safe place for them to talk about their condition.
2) Spread the Word
Other reputable sources include:
- The American Diabetes Association
- The World Health Organization
- The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Stay on top of the latest news and updates. And, if you have diabetes yourself, this is the perfect chance to share your experience! If you’re comfortable, share your story using the hashtag #ThisIsDiabetes so other people can see what it’s really like in day-to-day life.
3) Join a Fundraiser, Walk-a-Thon, and Other Events
Throughout the year, there are fundraisers, walk-a-thons, and other events to help with diabetes awareness. Find one near you and sign up!
There are dozens of ways to get involved, and there is something for everyone. If you don’t want to participate physically, some events allow you to “walk” virtually. Or, you can volunteer to work at a table handing out water or T-shirts.
You can also always simply donate to a fundraiser or charity that helps folks living with diabetes or that funds research. Check out the American Diabetes Association’s website for ways to give.
Living with Diabetes is Simple with OKRA Care
No matter how you spread awareness for diabetes, living with this disease can be simple when you choose OKRA Care. We provide everything you need to manage your condition more conveniently.
Check out our Starter Kit or sign up for our convenient subscription service so you never need to worry about running out of test strips. With over 25 years of experience creating hospital-grade testing supplies, we have the knowledge and skill to help you manage your diabetes. Get started today!