It’s our chance to show the world what life with diabetes is really like.
For the millions of us who are at risk for it, it’s a time to get educated, find resources and make sure all those around us are aware of their risk, too. And for the millions of us living with diabetes, it’s a chance to tell our stories and awaken the world.
Stand Greater Than Diabetes
Right now, things are difficult for people living with diabetes—and for those who love them. Between the constant bad news and the bleak forecast, it’s easy to feel powerless, afraid and small.
November is American Diabetes Month—a time to take action together, as a community. Because together, we can conquer this disease. Together, we stand greater than diabetes.
Making healthy choices and taking steps to manage your diabetes can ensure you don’t just live but thrive with diabetes. But it’s important to take steps now-your health can’t wait. It’s time to thrive by finding a balance of nutrition, physical activity and mental health management.
More than 34 million Americans are living with diabetes. Among those who have died from COVID-19, 40% were living with diabetes. It’s time to make sure tomorrow is greater than today.
More than 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and approximately a third are prediabetic, meaning they are at a high risk of developing it.
If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, this happens because your body does not make enough insulin, or it does not use insulin well (this is called insulin resistance). If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, you might be able to prevent or delay developing it.
The good news: prediabetes can be reversed. Watch Mike’s story.
Diabetes Risk Factors
You can have prediabetes for years but have no clear symptoms, so it often goes undetected until serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes show up. It’s important to talk to your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested if you have any of the risk factors for prediabetes, which include:
Being 45 years or older
Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
Being physically active less than 3 times a week
Ever having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds
Having polycystic ovary syndrome
Race and ethnicity are also a factor: African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk.
Although there are certain factors you can’t change — such as your genes, age or past behaviors — there are many actions you can take to reduce the risk of diabetes.
Losing weight and keeping it off
Weight control is an important part of diabetes prevention. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5 to 10 percent of your current weight.
Diet and Exercise
It is important to reduce the amount of calories you eat and drink each day, so you can lose weight and keep it off. Exercise has many health benefits, including helping you to lose weight and lower your blood sugar levels. These both lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Talk to your health care provider
See whether there is anything else you can do to delay or to prevent type 2 diabetes. If you are at high risk, your provider may suggest that you take one of a few types of diabetes medicines.
If not now, then when? If not you, then who? There’s no better time than American Diabetes Month to reach out to your representatives and make your voice heard. Join the community in advocating for expanded testing, zero dollar co-pay caps and continuous health care coverage.
Stand up together!