November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. In previous blog posts, we have offered tips for prevention and saving costs. We have also held special topic webinars on empowering patients to self-manage their diabetes.
In the United States, nearly 30 million people are diagnosed with diabetes, with another 86 million Americans at risk for type 2 diabetes; that’s nearly one out of every 11 people with diabetes, with 1 out of 4 unaware they have the condition. Awareness of the disease can not only prevent future cases for those at risk, but also help raise funds to develop new treatments for those living with diabetes.
There are different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes presents with the body not making insulin, and those diagnosed must take insulin injections every day. Only 5% of those diagnosed with diabetes have type 1, and there is no known method to cure or prevent type 1 diabetes. With type 2 diabetes, one’s body doesn’t use insulin well and is unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Type 2 diabetes has a number of risk factors:
- Being overweight;
- Being 45 years or older;
- Having a parent or sibling diagnosed with type 2 diabetes;
- Being physically active less than 3 times per week.
Race and ethnicity also can affect one’s risk. African Americans,