November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, focusing on World Diabetes Day, which falls every year on November 14th. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organization.
Diabetes is a disease where your body either can’t produce insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it produces. Having too much sugar in your blood can cause various health problems like heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease. There are multiple causes for diabetes, it’s a complex disease, and there is no known cure.
There are three main types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes, which is found in 5-10% of Canadians with diabetes and occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin.
Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common, and is where the pancreas cannot effectively use or produce insulin. It is found in 90-95% of Canadians living with diabetes. Type 2 can be genetic, behavioural, or environmental.
Prediabetes, which occurs when blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2. About 50% of people with prediabetes will go on to develop Type 2.
Today, approximately 11 million Canadians are living with or affected by diabetes. This month, let’s continually work towards finding a cure and creating more awareness.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created even more urgency for people living with diabetes. People with diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing symptoms and complications, like pneumonia, and are more likely to die in the hospital.
Those at age 20 now face an approximate 50% chance of developing the disease. That number speaks to the epidemic diabetes has become across Canada. Anyone can be affected by diabetes or by COVID-19, so please practice safety.
Post and share reputable facts about diabetes from sources like the American Diabetes Association, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
All throughout the year, you can usually find fundraisers, walk-a-thons, races, and other events that donate proceeds to diabetes research and education.
The mental aspect of living with diabetes can leave people feeling helpless and angry. Joining or building a group like this is a psychological way to feel less alone.
Diabetes research is a constantly evolving field with new studies, treatments, and breakthroughs happening all the time. If you or a loved one has diabetes, it’s good to stay on top of the news.
An open blue circle is a universal symbol for diabetes and is used to signify the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the growing number of people affected by the disease. Check out the Blue Circle Selfie app that’s been developed to promote the blue circle in a fun and engaging way. Take a selfie or a group picture and share it! It is available for iOS and Android.
World Diabetes Day falls every year on November 14th. World Diabetes Day is an event that unites the global diabetes community. Remember to wear blue, the colour of National Diabetes Month, and take a moment to spread diabetes awareness around. Maybe take a photo and post it on social media to spread the awareness even further!
If you’re looking for more information on diabetes and diabetes awareness, check out diabetes.ca and spread it further!