National Diabetes Education Week: November 1-8, 2020

It is no coincidence that the month of November is National Diabetes Month, as everyone looks forward to the final Thursday in the month for a day in which overeating is promoted in Thanksgiving. However, National Diabetes Education Week kicks off the month each year in bringing attention to the disease and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Especially in youth, with costs surpassing the $245 million mark.

In America, nearly 30 million people, including 40% of adults are obese and, of the 13.7 million children and adolescents in the country, 18.5% of them are obese as well, including a staggering 18.4% of those aged 6-11. Diabetes is one of the more common and chronic conditions in the U.S., which also affects 193,000 people under 20-years-old. Most of these younger people need help in being aware of Type-2 Diabetes, but also in managing it, for those with Type-1 Diabetes or Gestational Diabetes, which affects roughly 10% of pregnancies each year.

Tips for Managing Childhood Diabetes

Encourage children to be healthy: Promote youth to be physically active, whether via organized sports, or merely getting outside for at least an hour-per-day. It is also important for youth to be getting proper sleep, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water and less sugary drinks.

Help children monitor and manage glucose levels: Make sure children, as well as teens, are taking their required doses of prescribed medications, while ensuring they are meeting their optimal blood pressure and cholesterol goals. Early detection can help ward off possible heart disease, nerve damage, loss of vision and many other related health issues. Regarding women who are pregnant, it is highly advised to target proper blood sugar levels. According to the ADA, that is 95 mg/dl or less before a meal, 140 mg/dl or less an hour after a meal and, two hours after a meal, 120 mg/dl or less.

Have an emergency go-to kit readily available: These will entail having at least a week’s worth of medical supplies and equipment, physician’s contact information and a medication list that includes proper dosage and schedules, along with an allergy list as well.

Promote being transparent about having diabetes: In keeping company with those who also have diabetes, it encourages strong mental health in children, who otherwise may feel alone or depressed. Real people with diabetes are sharing their stories everyday on social, using #ConnectedForLife, which has built a foundation for people of all ages to always have someone to talk to.

Schedule of Events – American Diabetes Association (ADA)

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) will be hosting a series of events all week, including launching the weeklong event with an ‘Amplifying American Diabetes Month’ webinar on Sunday, Nov. 1, followed by the ADA’s 25th annual Leaders Forum HealthTech Showcase (Nov. 5) and a fundraising event, Tour de Cure, which will be virtual (Nov. 7). A complete ADA schedule can be found HERE.

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Click HERE for National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) resources, per the CDC.

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Author: Michael Stagno

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