Five Things You Can Do for Diabetes Awareness Month

Time is somehow flying by and the end of the year is approaching. Before we try to end 2020 on a positive note and hopefully spend time with our friends and family for the holidays, we have a very important month ahead for those of us living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and it is a great time to educate, advocate and bring awareness to a disease that is sadly misunderstood by many. Some people living with diabetes choose to be loud and proud and share their journey with others, while others may choose to stay quiet and do nothing at all. There is no right way to go about this month but there are a few things you can to help support, save, and inspire others.

Here are five things you can for Diabetes Awareness Month:

Support Small Business

There are many businesses within our community that work hard to help us live a better life with diabetes. A lot of these companies have also done good for our community and beyond, like creating intubation boxes for local hospitals during COVID-10, like Pump Peelz. This is a great time to help these companies after a terrible financial year for all. We’d love to see these businesses around for a long time to come!

Use Your Social Platform

Educating on social media is a great way to reach many and give them the low down on what this disease is really all about. Many of our friends within the community, like Project Blue November, create challenges for every day of the month so you can cover quite a variety of topics and let people know more about what you go through. You can also use your social media to express your concerns about insulin affordability and the frustrations you may have with coverage on certain drugs. Make your voice heard, this is a great platform and time to do it!

Connect with Others

Social media is not only great for educating but it is great for creating relationships with others who walk our same path. My entire outlook on this disease changed once I found the diabetes online community and I know of many who feel the same way. You can see people who are living their best life despite this disease, you can learn a few new low-carb recipes, and even maybe get lucky like me and find others locally that you can get together in person with. This disease is hard to navigate, having others who are going through it is so important.

Find Ways to Save

With the holidays coming, it is an expensive time for everyone. Educate yourself on patient assistance programs, rebates and coupons available for all of your medications and supplies. Many of these companies use this month to advertise so you may be able to get some discounts. Also, you likely have reached your deductible, so order anything you need before the year is up! You also may need to enroll in your company’s health plan. Learn more about selecting the right health insurance for you and your family so you are well prepared and knowledgeable when the time comes.

Get Involved

There is a lot you can do to help others going through this journey. You can get involved with your local ADA or JDRF chapter. You can get involved with planning a walk, volunteering at an event, or even train to work with the newly diagnosed. There are also some great retreats and conferences that you should think about attending, you may learn something and make some new friends! There are a lot of rewarding opportunities and these companies and individuals much need participation and support!

Diabetes Awareness Month means something different for everyone. Do you plan on being vocal this month or commemorate the month in any way? If you do, you will be sure to educate and inspire others!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Keys to Long Term Success and Preventing Complications

Contrary to popular belief, you can live a long, healthy life with type 2 diabetes, without developing complications. In its 2010 report, Diabetes UK found that someone with type 2 diabetes is likely to have a reduced life expectancy by up to 10 years, and someone living with type 1 diabetes is likely to have a reduced life expectancy by up to 20 years.

However, with advanced technologies and therapies, people are living longer and healthier than ever. Results from the University of Pittsburgh after a 30-year longitudinal study found that people with type 1 diabetes born after 1965 had a life expectancy of 69 years — longer than any study had ever previously found.

In part four of our four-part series on living well with type 2 diabetes, we will dive into the keys to long term success managing your condition, and how to prevent complications over the long term.

What Causes Complications?

It’s important to know what causes complications in people with type 2 diabetes. Not everyone living with diabetes will develop complications, but the occurrence of chronic hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, and retinopathy (the most common complications of diabetes). It’s important to keep your blood sugars in range as much as possible to help prevent the onset of these complications.

Keys to Long Term Success

A number of factors have been shown to help slow the progression of (or completely prevent) complications in people with diabetes:

  • Keep HbA1c in range – Studies have shown that keeping your HbA1c lower than 7% can prevent the onset of complications, and closely monitoring your blood sugar (testing regularly) can help tighten your control. Talk with your doctor about the ideal number of times she would like you to test per day, and make sure you always test before and after meals.
  • Take your medications as prescribed – Some people think that insulin is “bad” or they just don’t like the thought of taking a pill every day. You’re prescribed your medicine for a reason, and you should follow all doctors’ orders to take them as prescribed. Rationing or skipping doses can quickly lead to complications or even premature death.
  • Follow a sensible diet – You don’t need to go completely paleo or keto to have better blood sugars, but speaking with your doctor or seeing a nutritionist can help you develop an eating plan that will work for you that you can sustain. Be sure to include plenty of fresh vegetables, protein, and water. Eating similar foods, eating a low carbohydrate lunch (of 20 grams or fewer) and limiting meals at restaurants has also been shown to help improve blood sugar management in people with diabetes.
  • ExerciseExercise is one of the most important things you can do to prevent complications. Not only does it lower blood sugars, but it gets the heart working and the blood pumping, increasing circulation and strengthening your whole cardiovascular system. Exercise boosts your immune system, and increases serotonin in the brain, making you feel good and helping to prevent the onset of depression. According to our Thrivable Insights study, people with type 2 diabetes who have an HbA1c <6.5% are more likely (20% vs 8%) to exercise 4-6 times per week than people living with type 2 diabetes who have an HbA1c of 8% or higher.
  • Surround yourself with support – Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint, and the journey can be lonely at times. A study from the University Hospital in Denmark found that loneliness may actually cause premature death by damaging the blood vessels of the heart, which can be compounded with a diagnosis of diabetes. Long term success with your diabetes care is much more likely if you surround yourself with supportive family and friends, or if you can find a community who will understand. Sharing your thoughts, worries, and feelings will help lighten your load, and you may just learn a thing or two that you didn’t previously know about diabetes and how to better care for yourself!

Have you had diabetes for a long time, and are thriving without complications? What are some of the best strategies you’ve employed to achieve success? Share this post and comment below!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Letter from the Editor: Peer Mentorship Program

As followers of our page, you know that Diabetes Daily is a place for people to learn about diabetes management and connect with their peer community. Not only to just survive from day to day but also, as one of our core values states, to thrive. As a small company of people touched by diabetes, […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

Judgement in the Online Type 1 Diabetes Community

This content originally appeared on Beyond Type 1. Republished with permission.By Carter Clark When handling a disease where your choices are your lifeline, you’ll stand up for them until the ends of the Earth. This makes sense, because without confidence in life or death decisions, an even slight sense of calm will never be achieved. […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

Diabetes Support Barriers

This content originally appeared on Blood Sugar Trampoline. Republished with permission. A couple of months ago, I was chatting with Laura, from DiabeticMe-T1, over Skype about our experience in our respective diabetes support groups. (Laura’s group is in Portlaoise, details here). Read more about Laura here. Laura mentioned that in chatting to someone whom she […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

I Thrive: Running Towards Health

Meet Brian Hoadley. A 38-year-old normal guy from the UK working as an operations manager for an office furniture supply company. Enjoying life and living as most of us do, spending time with friends and family and his wife, when out of the blue, Brian was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2014 at the […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

New Year, New Source of Peer Support

This content originally appeared on TCOYD: Taking Control of Your Diabetes. Republished with permission.It’s about that time of year when we start reminiscing on the year behind us and planning resolutions for the year ahead. Finding ways to be healthier and improve diabetes management is usually at the top of everyone’s list. Sometimes the best […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

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