Make Health a Priority During Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country team up to bring attention to diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It affects about 37 million Americans, including adults and youth. For those with this chronic disease, taking steps to improve their health should be a priority.

About Diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes, in Type 1 Diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. This is a condition that can be managed with the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, everyone can learn to manage their condition and live long healthy lives. Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5.2% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, affecting approximately 1.6 million people. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes—and it means that your body doesn’t use insulin properly. About 283,000 Americans under age 20 are estimated to have been diagnosed with diabetes, approximately 0.35% of that population. 

What Can You Do?

Learning as much as you can about your disease, is number one. Once you understand your disease well you can begin to take steps to improve your health. Talk with your primary care provider about how you can manage your diabetes, follow the ABCs, and create a diabetes care plan.


  • A for the A1C test (A-one-C). The A1C is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months.
  • B for Blood pressure.
    • Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the wall of your blood vessels. The blood pressure goal for most people with diabetes is below 140/90
  • C for Cholesterol
    • LDL or “bad” cholesterol can build up and clog your blood vessels. It can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Taking early action can help prevent kidney disease, vision loss, heart disease, stroke, and even death. Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2019. Starting with small changes can make a big impact on your health. Make physical activity and healthy eating part of your daily routine.

Some foods are riskier for people with diabetes because they are more likely to contain harmful bacteria or viruses. In general, these foods fall into two categories:

  • Uncooked fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Some animal products, such as unpasteurized (raw) milk; soft cheeses made with raw milk; raw or undercooked eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish; luncheon meats; improperly reheated hot dogs; and salads prepared in a store or food establishment containing animal products such as seafood, ham, or chicken.

If you have diabetes, being active makes your body more sensitive to insulin (the hormone that allows cells in your body to use blood sugar for energy), which helps manage your diabetes. Physical activity also helps control blood sugar levels and lowers your risk of heart disease and nerve damage.

Having the right equipment and supplies to manage your diabetes is important as well. Supplies like glucometers, test strips, lancets, and supplements can all be found here:

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