Every year the month of November is recognized as Diabetes Awareness Month. The purpose of this month is to raise awareness regarding the disease since millions of Americans live with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 34.2 million Americans have diabetes. This means that 10.5% of Americans live with diabetes. Additionally, 88 million people are categorized as pre-diabetic which is a condition where glucose levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be considered diabetes. This is an important month to learn about diabetes due to the high number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes.
The objective of Diabetes Awareness Month is to increase public knowledge of diabetes. There are two types of diabetes. The first is Type 1 diabetes which accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes and is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce insulin. The exact cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown, but it is generally thought to be caused by a combination of genetics and an immune system disorder that affects insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Individuals with Type 1 diabetes are generally required to monitor their blood sugar levels closely and take insulin daily to survive.
The other form of diabetes is Type 2 diabetes which is the most common form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops over time and occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant, meaning it is unable to process insulin properly. While age, ethnicity, and family history all play an important role in determining one’s risk level for Type 2 diabetes, research has shown that lifestyle choices such as tobacco use, diet, and physical activity level can greatly impact whether a person will develop the disease.
Currently, there is no cure for diabetes. However, Type 2 diabetes can be manageable and, in some instances, preventable. According to the American Diabetes Association, Type 2 diabetes can be managed by taking prescription medicines, following a healthy eating plan, reducing tobacco use, and exercising to ensure blood sugar levels are kept within a healthy range. Similarly, those who are pre-diabetic or who are at a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can delay or even prevent the onset of the disease by making changes towards living a healthier lifestyle.
For more information about diabetes, please visit the American Diabetes Association www.diabetes.org. Additionally, you visit the U.S Department of Health and Human Services to learn more about treatments for diabetes https://www.hhs.gov/.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents part of Nueces County. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-463-0672.