National Diabetes Awareness Month


Photo found on Google Images from the American Diabetes Association.

Katelyn Pauley, Staff Reporter

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “34.2 million Americans—just over 1 in 10—have diabetes.” As well as this, 88 million American adults have prediabetes. 

This year, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is using the month of November, National Diabetes Awareness Month, to raise awareness about the prevention of type 2 diabetes. The ADA’s website states “Take your health into your own hands through awareness, detection, management and learning to thrive despite your diabetes.”

Understanding the Types of Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes 

According to the CDC, “If you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t make insulin or makes very little insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps blood sugar enter the cells in your body where it can be used for energy.” Without insulin, blood sugar is unable to get into the cells. This would cause a build up of blood sugar in the bloodstream. High blood sugar causes many complications and symptoms of diabetes. Additionally, high blood sugar is damaging to the body. There is no prevention for type 1 diabetes, but it can be managed by “by following your doctor’s recommendations for living a healthy lifestyle, managing your blood sugar, getting regular health checkups, and getting diabetes self-management education and support.” 

Type 2 Diabetes

The CDC states “Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond.The pancreas will be unable to keep up, so the blood sugar will rise and set the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. To manage type 2 diabetes, the person must eat healthy and exercise, even with insulin and other medications. People with type 2 diabetes should monitor their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. 

Gestational Diabetes

The CDC describes gestational diabetes as “a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy in women who don’t already have diabetes.” Managing gestational diabetes will help to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. 

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed. According to the ADA, “If you’re at risk, making small changes to the way you eat, increasing your physical activity levels or getting early treatment can, for some, actually return blood sugar levels to a normal range.” In most cases, before people have type 2 diabetes, they are diagnosed with prediabetes. This means that the blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. With a prediabetes treatment plan, type 2 diabetes can be avoided. 

National Diabetes Awareness Month Events

The ADA is holding virtual events this year to showcase the stories of others with diabetes and to educate people on diabetes. 

Nov. 15 

7-7:30 p.m. 

Ask the Author with Marina Chaparro

Marina Chaparro, author of “Pregnancy & Diabetes: A Real-Life Guide for Women with Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes,” will be answering questions about the management of diabetes during pregnancy. 


Nov. 18

2-2:30 p.m.

Ask Dr. Bob: American Diabetes Month

This event will be held on the ADA’s Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube page. Viewers will be able to ask Dr. Bob any questions relating to diabetes.


Nov. 24

11-11:20 p.m.

What’s in Your Pantry?

Nutritionist Julie Grim will be showing what foods should be found in the pantry for the prevention and management of diabetes. 

The full list of events and links to register can be found here.