November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Inspire Others – Be a Role Model!
October 30, 2012
Universal Children’s Day
November 20, 2012

The American Diabetes Association works to prevent, treat, and cure diabetes by providing educational materials and resources, promoting awareness, and advocating on behalf of diabetic patients.

The UMHS Comprehensive Diabetes Center is hosting a Diabetes Health Fair in observance of the United Nations World Diabetes Day and the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Awareness Month. Join them on Saturday, November 10th from 9:00am – 1:00pm at the Sheraton Ann Arbor Hotel (3200 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor). They will offer free screenings for: blood sugar and A1c, blood pressure, cholesterol (LDL and total, non-fasting), kidney disease, foot problems (people with diabetes only), and more. If you are concerned about whether you have diabetes, or if you think you may be at risk of developing diabetes, stop by this free event on Saturday.

English: Diagram shows insulin release from th...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which a person has high blood glucose (sugar) levels, because the body does not produce enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy.

The glucose travels around our bodies inside blood vessels but it cannot be used as energy until it gets into our body cells. Insulin is the key that lets the glucose go through the cell wall into our cells. If there is not enough insulin there can be a lot of glucose (sugar) travelling around in the blood, but the cells do not have enough energy to work well, which makes people sick.

Types of Diabetes?

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

–         Children and young people usually get type 1, sometimes called ‘juvenile diabetes’.

–         People who get diabetes when they are older usually get type 2 diabetes.

Did you know?

–       Nearly 26 million children and adults (8.3% of the population) in the US have diabetes –American Diabetes Association

–       Another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. –American Diabetes Association

–       There are hundreds of people who are famous in all areas of life, from writers to sports stars, and they all have diabetes.

Effects of Diabetes

–       Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

–       Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.

–       The rate of amputation is 10 times higher among diabetic adults.

Cost of Diabetes

–       The American Diabetes Association estimates the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the US at $174 Billion.

–       The cost of caring for someone with diabetes is $1 out of every $5 in total healthcare costs.

Are You at Risk?

–       Talk with your doctor or care provider and learn the risk factors.

–       You can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by changing your diet, increasing your level of physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Myths about Diabetes

–        Diabetes is not that serious.

  • There are more deaths per year from diabetes and complications from diabetes, than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

–       If you are overweight or obese, you will develop type 2 diabetes.

  • Being overweight or obese is a risk factor to develop type 2 diabetes, but there are other risk factors – family history, ethnicity, age, and more, that lead to a person becoming diabetic.

–       Diabetes is contagious.

  • No, diabetes is not contagious. You cannot catch it like a cold or the flu.

The Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools (RAHS) works with students in the Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Willow Run, and Lincoln Public Schools to improve their overall health. There are Nutrition and Physical Activity Programs for students to participate in to develop better eating habits, increase their activity levels, and to help them lose excess weight. There are Registered Dieticians available to help students meet their weight loss and healthy eating goals.