1. Are You Aware Of Diabetes Awareness Month?
Each year when November rolls around, people begin thinking about the common disease that affects around 29.1 million people in the United States alone. Diabetes affects people of all ages and causes many health concerns in the body. It is crucial people are aware of this disease and their risk factors towards getting it. This is why diabetes awareness month is so important for raising awareness of this disease and helping people understand how it can be treated. Understanding more about this special month and its symbolism will give people the knowledge they need to be protective of their health and monitor it.
2. Why Is Diabetes Honored With Its Own Month?
While diabetes month was first named in 1975, it was not until a few years later this special day and month were officially proclaimed by the president and congress. Each year, on November 14, World Diabetes Day is celebrated around the world. On this day, special events are held to honor Dr. Frederick Banting, one of the discoverers of insulin. Because of his research, diabetic patients are able to safely control their disease and prevent damage to their body and the loss of their life.
World Diabetes Day was officially launched in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation, in the hopes light would be shared on this disease so people could better understand it. The first few years of the celebration day were not as widespread as they are today. With the founding of the Diabetes Online Community, people have been able to work together, from all over the country, to coordinate special events to honor this day.
3. What Events are Planned For This November?
The Theme of 2016’s World Diabetes Day will be “Eyes on Diabetes”. The full focus of this special event will be to inform the world of the importance of diabetes screening to ensure those with type II diabetes are diagnosed early so they can protect their health and reduce the risk of serious and even deadly complications. Special events are planned in major cities all over the world with an emphasis on screening and education. Because of the Internet, there are now more people getting involved than ever before so it is hoped this special day and month will help people realize their own risk factors and do all they can to reduce them. Some risk factors for type II diabetes include:
- Family history
- Being overweight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Unhealthy diet
Each year, health organizations hold special screening services that educate people about the symptoms of diabetes and what they can do to reduce their risk factors. Some areas will also be offering free screening tests for those who want to ensure their blood sugar is at a normal level. It is important people take advantage of these services so they can protect their health. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends a Type 2 Diabetes screening for adults between 40-70 years who are dealing with obesity or overweight problems.
4. What Symbols Are Used To Represent Diabetes?
- The grey diabetes awareness ribbon with a red dot, sometimes in the shape of a heart, is one of the symbols for the disease. The red dot symbolizes the blood used to test the blood sugar level. Diabetes type 1 has their own ribbons. It is half blue and half grey with the same red drop as the general grey diabetes ribbon.
- The blue circle. The circle for the diabetes awareness was adopted in 2006 after the United Nations passed 61/225 which recognized World Diabetes Day. The circle was chosen because it represents life, vitality, and health. This symbol helped to unite the world in their understanding of this disease that is rising in epic proportions among people all over the world. The color blue was chosen for the diabetes circle because it represents the color of the flag of the United Nations, which unites the world in harmony. This symbol is truly about unity and declares we are all fighting this disease together, no matter what part of the world we may live in. Now, diabetes has a stronger voice than ever before and those who have the disease or have a loved one who does can wear the diabetes symbol proudly. It becomes a conversation piece and opens the opportunity for dialogue regarding the disease.
Those who are struggling with diabetes need to educate themselves on controlling their disease with exercise, proper diet, and medications. Those who are at risk for diabetes need to take charge of their health and have regular screenings to protect their bodies from the ravages of this disease. The good news is, diabetes can be controlled but people need to be aware of how to take charge of their health and when to seek medical care.
Diabetes does not have to be a silent killer. During the month of November, it is hoped more people will seek testing to ensure they do not have the disease and those who have already been diagnosed will take care of their health. So, this coming November, make sure to have your grey ribbon or blue circle ready and take part in all of the festivities that will be going on all month long.