Diabetes Awareness Month by Maya Douglas

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November is an important month for people with diabetes and those affected by it.

This year World Diabetes Day is Nov. 14. That specific day was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Frederick Banting who co-discovered insulin in 1921. It is important that we focus on Diabetes and its effects because according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. In 2012, 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose. Almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before age 70.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death and it’s very prevalent in black and brown communities. Diabetes Mellitus states that 58.5 percent of Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, and of that 58.5 percent, blacks and browns make up 26 percent. This can mostly be attributed to what we eat. Other factors include lack or exercise and high levels of stress. It is our job to educate our communities on ways to prevent and/or combat diabetes.

Those of us who have not been affected can prevent it by watching what and how much we eat. For those who have been affected, you can combat this disease by making healthier food choices, exercising more, taking your medication as instructed, and managing your level of stress.

National Diabetes Awareness Month is important because the first step in preventing the disease is being aware of its causes. We can’t fix what we aren’t aware of.

This November, I encourage everyone to learn more diabetes and spread awareness within our families and our communities, eat healthier, exercise more, and take care of yourself mentally.