88 Million Reasons to Support National Diabetes Month
We Can Change the Future of Diabetes
November is National Diabetes Month—a time to raise awareness about the diabetes epidemic that is quietly underway in our country. It’s a chance to come together and take action, not just for the one in ten Americans who have diabetes, but for the 88 million of us who are at high risk of developing it due to high blood sugar levels (a condition known as prediabetes).
As you walk through your city or town today, consider that, statistically, one in three people you see has prediabetes and more than 80% don’t know they have it. These numbers may come as a shock, but there is hope that we can change them. By making certain lifestyle changes, those of us with prediabetes can significantly lower our risk of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
In honor of National Diabetes Month, here are seven ways we can take action together to spread the word about diabetes prevention.
Learn About Your Risk
Could you be one of the 88 million people in America with prediabetes? Don’t be afraid to learn about your risk—knowing where you stand will allow you to take control of your health. The CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program offers a free risk test and other helpful resources at doihaveprediabetes.org. If you determine that you’re at risk, talk to your doctor so you can assess your risk level and develop a prevention strategy together.
Remember the “one in three” statistic and consider sharing this tool with your loved ones or even via your social media channels. Raising awareness is the best way to turn the tide on diabetes.
Understand the Issues
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on the widespread inequities in our healthcare system, which contribute to higher risk levels and worse outcomes in underserved communities. Just like COVID-19, diabetes disproportionately affects minority and low-income Americans. According to the ADA, Americans of color are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes and related chronic diseases.
Equal access to health care is a human right—no matter your race, gender, income, sexual orientation, age, or education. We urge you to read the ADA’s Bill of Rights to know your rights and better understand the injustices that many communities are currently facing. Please also consider sharing this resource to help shine more light on a dire issue.
Become an Advocate
If you feel inspired to make waves for change, contact your government representatives to advocate for affordable and accessible healthcare for everyone. The ADA has created this online resource to help you reach out to lawmakers in your area and ask them to support legislation designed to end health disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic—from expanding health insurance coverage to making insulin more affordable. You can also sign up as an ADA Advocate to stay informed about issues affecting people with diabetes and keep using your voice to create change.
If you or someone you know has type 1 diabetes, you might also consider signing up to become an advocate for JDRF—a nonprofit funding research and advocating for policies to help people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). According to JDRF, “Advocates use the most powerful tools they have — their own personal stories — to communicate the financial, medical, and emotional costs of T1D to our nation's leaders.”
Attend a Virtual Event
From enlightening talks to a live cooking class, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is hosting some amazing virtual events throughout the month. Ask questions, listen to inspiring stories, and learn tips that can help you live a healthier life.
You’ll also find a slew of virtual events hosted by JDRF on their monthly calendar, including a holiday auction, various meet and greets, and a Q&A session with an endocrinologist.
Start One New Healthy Habit
Healthy choices matter for all of us, regardless of our risk level. This is a great opportunity to work on a new habit throughout the month. Whether you decide to take a daily walk or experiment with healthy kitchen swaps like chickpea pasta or nut-based milk, pick an activity that you might actually enjoy and try your best to keep it going.
The jury is still out on how long it takes to solidify a new habit, but one recent study found that it took an average of 66 days before participants felt that new habits like eating fruit at lunch or running for 15 minutes became automatic. Of course, the actual time will vary by person and the perceived effort of the new activity. But the study found that daily repetition during the first few weeks was the key to making the new habits stick.
Recommit to Your Treatment
If you’re currently living with diabetes, use this month as an annual reminder to recommit to your treatment plan. Taking medications as prescribed and keeping up a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition and exercise, is an essential part of reducing the impact of diabetes on your long-term health and well-being.
Find the Best Pharmacy for Your Diabetes Care
Managing your monthly medications should never be a struggle. Our pharmacists are on-call to field medication queries and walk you through doses or injections. We can deliver whatever you need—including insulin, glucose monitors, test strips, and more—directly to your door for free. For more on how we can help, read “The Best Pharmacy for Diabetes Care.”
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.