Welcome to November! It’s Diabetes Awareness Month and Pharmacy Solutions’ focus is to shed some light about exactly what diabetes is and what we are doing to educate our patients along the way.
It may seem a bit ironic that November was the month chosen to represent Diabetes Awareness considering it follows one of our most historically well-known sugar-filled holidays- Halloween. However, did you know there is much more reasoning behind why November is centered around Diabetes Awareness?
World Diabetes Day
November is Diabetes Awareness Month because it is centered around World Diabetes Day. World Diabetes Day is November 14th of every year for a very important reason. November 14th is Dr. Frederick Banting’s birthday. Who is Dr. Frederick Banting? Dr. Frederick Banting, who along with his assistant, Charles Best, discovered insulin in Toronto in 1922 changing the lives of Type 1 Diabetics. World Diabetes Day was started in 1991 by the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness and shine a spotlight on the escalating public health crisis that is diabetes.
WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
What is Diabetes?
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). Continue reading for how the CDC defines all 3 types.
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that stops your body from making insulin. Approximately 5-10% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need to take insulin every day to survive. Currently, no one knows how to prevent type 1 diabetes.
- Type 2 Diabetes
- With type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2. It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults (but more and more in children, teens, and young adults). You may not notice any symptoms, so it’s important to get your blood sugar tested if you’re at risk. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active.
- Gestational Diabetes
- Gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby could be at higher risk for health problems. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born but increases your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.
What about Prediabetes?
In the United States, 88 million adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes. What’s more, more than 84% of them don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The good news is if you have prediabetes, a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program can help you take healthy steps to reverse it.
- The number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Prevalence has been rising more rapidly in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
- Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
- Between 2000 and 2016, there was a 5% increase in premature mortality from diabetes.
- In 2019, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012.
- A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
- Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.
Tips to Manage Prediabetes and Prevent Diabetes
- Take small steps. Making changes to your lifestyle and daily habits can be hard, but you don’t have to change everything at once. It is okay to start small. Remember that setbacks are normal and do not mean you have failed—the key is to get back on track as soon as you can.
- Move more. Limit time spent sitting and try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, 5 days a week. Start slowly by breaking it up throughout the day.
- Choose healthier foods and drinks most of the time. Pick foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and sugar. Build a plate that includes a balance of vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. Drink water instead of sweetened drinks.
- Lose weight, track it, and keep it off. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight.
- Seek support. It is possible to reverse prediabetes. Making a plan, tracking your progress, and getting support from your health care professional and loved ones can help you make the necessary lifestyle changes.
How Pharmacy Solutions Can Help
If you or someone you know are struggling with understanding or controlling diabetes or prediabetes, our pharmacists would love to help! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (817)274-0040 to speak with a pharmacist today. Also, check out our supplement shop for more products intended to control blood sugar.