Diabetes Awareness Month

Article by: Beth Blessing

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, Saturday, November 14, 2015 is World Diabetes Day. This year’s campaign is “Eat Well, America!”. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and WHO. The fourteenth was chosen in honor of Dr. Frederick Banting’s birthday, the co-discoverer of insulin back in 1921.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 30 million Americans (children and adults) have diabetes. Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion. Diabetes rates for adults and children are climbing out of control, putting us in the midst of a diabetes epidemic.

Diabetes is a chronic condition traditionally marked by high levels of glucose in your blood (high blood sugar). Type 1 is an inflammatory autoimmune disease of the pancreas. The body’s immune system self-attacks pancreatic beta cells and destroys them, resulting in a lack of insulin. New evidence is presenting a large percentage of those with type 1 have undiagnosed Celiac disease (autoimmune gluten intolerance) and may go on to develop Hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroid condition). Only 5% of people with diabetes have type 1.

Type 2 is by far the more common form of the disease.  The body does not use insulin properly, resulting in blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal. This is called insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is completely preventable and nearly 100 percent curable. Ninety-five percent of the people with diabetes have type 2.

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. One in 25 pregnancies worldwide is associated with the development of gestational diabetes. Untreated or poorly controlled gestational diabetes can hurt the baby. Gestational diabetes usually disappears after pregnancy but women with gestational diabetes and their children are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Eat Well, America!” is focused on how easy and joyful healthy eating can be. Each week, the American Diabetes Association will share nutritious recipes selected by noted chefs and cookbook authors for every meal of the day, and will feature tip sheets, how-to videos, and shopping lists.