November is recognized as Diabetes Awareness Month in the United States, and November 14 is celebrated globally as World Diabetes Day. Though diabetes management is a year-round, full time job, Diabetes Awareness Month presents an opportunity to educate consumers about the disease, and motivate those most impacted to take control of their diabetes.
Diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels, also referred to as blood sugar levels, are too high. Blood glucose comes from the food you eat, but insulin – a hormone made by the pancreas – is needed to get glucose from food into your cells so it can be used for energy. If your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, or your body isn’t able to properly utilize insulin, the glucose from food stays in your blood.
According to the American Diabetes Association and the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes is a leading cause of disability and death in the United States and abroad. If left untreated or poorly controlled, diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems. What’s the good news? Today, there are more ways than ever before to manage diabetes and live a healthy lifestyle to reduce and prevent diabetes-related complications.