November brings us to the holiday rush, Thanksgiving travel — and American Diabetes Month. Just thinking about heavy holiday meals should be enough to bring our focus around to diet, exercise and this health concern. Fewer health issues in the country are more relevant right now than diabetes. From adult to childhood diabetes, type 1 and type 2, from the links to diet and the quality of our foodstuffs, diabetes is getting a lot of exposure right now.
And it needs to get a lot more still. Because it is a disease which strikes one out of eleven people in America. It is responsible for more fatalities annually than AIDS and breast cancer combined. There are more than 200,000 cases of juvenile diabetes diagnosed annually. All told, 86 million Americans are at risk for diabetes.
These are daunting and relevant statistics, but they only tell part of the story. That is why this year the theme for American Diabetes Month is “This is Diabetes.” The emphasis is on the real-life stories of Americans coping with, struggling with and oftentimes triumphing over diabetes. There will be:
- testimonies about the experience of being first diagnosed;
- the scary process of beginning a treatment regimen; and
- first-hand accounts about changes in diet, lifestyle and a general reshuffling of priorities.
Not only will it be great time to recognize our 29 million fellow citizens struggling with the disease, but we can all learn something to utilize in our own lives and help us to make better choices.
There are dozens of outlets to help contribute to the campaign against diabetes this November. From buttons to yard signs to posters, to social media platforms and community events. And of course, like all the events on our calendar commemorating the fight against diseases and disorders, we are hopeful the day will come these days on the calendar will open up again. That will mean a cure has been found. So to that end, research is always an important element and will always be a priority.
This November, explore the many avenues to lend your own voice and listen to the voices of others!