This National Diabetes Month, you have a role in diabetes education and support
This is a statement from Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases on the National Diabetes Month.
November is National Diabetes Month and November 14 was World Diabetes Day. In significance to this month’s observation for Diabetes the National Institute of Health urges everyone to realize the importance of an individual’s role in diabetes education and support. An estimated 29 million Americans are diabetic and around 86 million more are in the pre-diabetes stage, which is condition with the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.6
In patients with type 1 diabetes, the body does not make adequate insulin. In patients with type 2 diabetes, the body does not make insulin and cannot use it well. A person is likely to enter the type 2 diabetes stage due to obesity, family history or old age. Complications for these two types of diabetes include kidney, heart, eye and nerve diseases. Gestational diabetes is the third type of diabetes seen in pregnant women. Usually, this type of diabetes goes away after birth, though these women and the children are at a greater chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes later.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is working to put an end to this epidemic through education and research efforts conducted throughout the US. NIDDK assists research to understand diabetes better. The research has contributed to the finding of safe and effective treatment methods and has increased the awareness about how to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.
Educating people about diabetes should be a continuous process. It is not just the diagnoses. While educating, people with diabetes can lead a better life when better treatments are made possible. A support system or a network of supportive people can help these patients to cope up with the daily demands of diabetes.
If you are a diabetic patient, or if you are caring for someone with diabetes, education can help you and your loved ones to lead a healthy life. Research indicates that diabetic patients who receive continuous education and support from family, friends, groups, health care professionals and communities have better health than those who lead an isolated life.
The National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has jointly launched the National Diabetes Education Program and works with National Diabetes Information Clearing house to provide resources and research based information to support individuals, families, communities and health care professionals to prevent or avoid type 2 diabetes.
Some of the ways to support a person with diabetes include:
- Ask how you can be of help in terms of reminding about a doctor visit, blood sugar checks and timely intake of medicine.
- One of the most important help is to be a good listener.
- Support the patient by making meals that include vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Indulge in group activities such as dancing, walking or gardening.
President Obama has mentioned in his National Diabetes Month proclamation that while we are on the continuous search for better answers, everyone has the power to better the lives of people we care for.
The NIDDK conducts and supports clinical research, both basic and advanced, and research training on common, disabling and severe diabetic conditions affecting Americans. The areas of research include digestive diseases, diabetes and endocrine diseases, metabolic diseases, nutrition, obesity, urologic, kidney and hematologic disease. More information about the research and education is available at www.niddk.nih.gov.
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