At the beginning of this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a reminder that November is National Diabetes Month. The agency already takes a number of steps, along with state and territorial public health programs, to help improve the lives of those who have diabetes and to reduce the number of Type 2 diabetes cases.1 There are a number of organizations across the country joining in on spreading awareness of this health concern.
Need for awareness
Those who suffer from Type 2 diabetes are at risk of a number of medical problems if their condition is not controlled. In some cases, it can even lead to heart disease, stroke or blindness. Although you can lower your risk by watching what you eat and staying active, there are a few things that increase your chances for developing the disease. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, some triggers may include:2
- Age: those older than 45
- Ethnicity: African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
- Exercising less than 3 times weekly
- High blood pressure
- History of gestational diabetes
- Weight: overweight and obese individuals
Luckily, there are a number of dedicated individuals and organizations helping to inform the public about the dangers of this disease as well as how it can be prevented.
The National Institutes of Health encourages diabetics to remember that their condition puts their vision at risk. Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of vision loss among adults who are of working age.3 This condition can easily go unnoticed, as it the disease gradually weakens blood vessels in the eyes. Upon rupture, blood vessels surrounding and in the retina may rupture. As blood spreads across the surface of the eye, it causes scarring. However, up to this point, there are often no symptoms of the issue. So, what can you do to ensure the health of your eyes?
- Go in for annual comprehensive dilated eye exams
- Control your diabetes
- Talk to your eye doctor about diabetic retinopathy
- Learn more about the condition
By staying up-to-date with your ocular health, you can catch diabetic eye disease early. With proper treatment and follow-up, you could even save your vision. Treatment options include laser surgery or drug injections, and you can talk to your doctor about which is best for you in the event you develop the condition.
ArkansasMatters is asking people to wear the color blue – the color of the National Diabetes Awareness organization – on November 14 to help get the word out.4 Those who do so are encouraged to submit photos of classrooms, offices and businesses sporting the hue to be entered into a drawing for a party sponsored by UAMS College Pharmacy.
Another event will take place on November 17, the first annual Moon Walk – a 5K event sponsored by The Argus Group and Bermuda Diabetes Association. In addition to the walk, guests will be able to enjoy lunch as well as a "Healthy Living with Diabetes" seminar, which will both be hosted on November 19.5 This is a huge advancement, as awareness is spread half way across the ocean.
Medex Supply is a leader in providing individuals and health care professionals with the necessary tools for maintaining health and wellness. Diabetics can purchase insulin syringes and other medical supplies online.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Announcements: National Diabetes Month – November 2013" November 1, 2013
2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "November: American Diabetes Month" November 13, 2013
3 National Institutes of Health, "This Nation Diabetes Month, remember to keep an eye on your eyes" November 1, 2013
4 ArkansasMatters, "National Wear Blue for Diabetes Day" November 13, 2013
5 Bernews, "Argus Group supports National Diabetes Month" November 13, 2013