Based on a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 30.3 million Americans – or 9.4% of the U.S. population – have diabetes. Another 84.1 million have prediabetes, which often leads to type 2 diabetes within five years if left untreated. This means that more than 100 million U.S. adults are also at risk for health problems like heart disease, stroke, nerve-related diseases, and vision loss, among others.
This is why the American Diabetes Association has designated November as American Diabetes Month in an effort to put more focus on diabetes and the millions of people affected by the disease. And while there have been several breakthroughs in diabetes research over the years, there are still a lot to be done to address this problem.
Here’s how we can contribute and show our support for patients and their loved ones, researchers, and medical professionals this American Diabetes Month.
Be Informed, Be Involved
Friends and family of diabetes patients can be a huge help, especially in terms of providing moral support. However, if you don’t completely understand what diabetes does to a person’s psyche, you may not be able to provide the right kind of support. For example, did you know that diabetes also affects a person’s moods?
Know what there is to know about diabetes and read up on the latest discoveries. Offer to join your family member or friend during doctor’s appointments or diabetes classes. You can even try some of their healthier lifestyle choices that help them manage the disease. If they decline your help, then at least they know that you’re there, ready to lend your support.
Wear Your Support
What better way to show your support for a cause than using your body as a billboard. Whether you make your own or buy merchandise like shirts, jackets, rubber bracelets, and caps, wearing something in relation to diabetes and its research is a simple yet effective, not to mention fashionable, way to raise awareness about the disease.
You can even create customized wristbands for your friends and loved ones who have diabetes, which can come in handy when they go to restaurants or even encounter medical emergencies while on the go.
There have been quite a few medical breakthroughs on diabetes in the past few years, but we still have a long way to go when it comes to treating and preventing the disease. There are also patients all over the country who can’t afford regular treatments and medications.
Every cent you donate counts toward the discovery of long-term solutions and, hopefully, a cure for diabetes. Your donations can also go a long way toward helping diabetes patients being supported by different non-profits and charities.
Harness the Power of Social Media
There’s no denying the dark side of social media, but its capabilities for doing good is far more powerful, especially in the hands of a well-informed user. Diabetes advocates can use the power of social media to increase awareness, dispel myths, raise funds, and provide support for patients, among others. Chatbots answering questions at any time or a crowdfunding initiative bringing medicine to hard-to-reach areas are just a few of the ways that social media can be used in positive ways.
Diabetes is more than just “high blood sugar” – it’s a disease that can cause a lot of health complications and, in some cases, can even lead to death. The diabetes community is working toward three goals: curing diabetes, taking better care of people with diabetes, and preventing the disease altogether. With our support, we can move closer toward the achievement of these goals.