November is National Diabetes Month

November 16, 2022

November is National Diabetes Month, and the Portsmouth Health Department wants to join communities across the country to bring attention to the growing problem diabetes. 

The National Institute of of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) states that Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It affects about 37 million Americans; that's about 1 in every 10 people, including adults and youth. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, and is linked to some types of cancer. And 1 in 5 people don't know they have it. 

There are two common types of diabetes:

  • Type 1: body doesn't make enough insulin
    • Can develop at any age
    • No known way to prevent it
    • Type 1 diabetes accounts for approximately 5-10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes
    • Just over 18,000 youth diagnosed each year in 2014 and 2015
  • Type 2: body can't use insulin properly
    • Can develop at any age
    • Most cases can be prevented
    • In adults. type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 90-95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes
    • Nearly 6,000 youth diagnosed each year in 2014 and 2015

According to the CDC, more than 96 million American adults - that's more than 1 in 3 - have prediabetes. More than 8 in 10 adults with prediabetes don't know they have it. With prediabetes, your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having a family history
  • Being physically inactive 
  • Being 45 or older

Eating healthy and being more active can cut your risk of getting type 2 diabetes in half. And there's good news - prediabetes can be reversed. Take the 1-minute prediabetes risk test and find tips to move more, eat healthier, and find a National Diabetes Prevention Program near you. 

This year's theme "Diabetes Management - it takes a team" is a reminder that it is important for a person living with diabetes to work with a health care team to get the care needed to improve health. The NIDDK offers tips to help manage diabetes and build your health care team:

  • Manage diabetes as early as possible
  • Build your health care team: besides a primary care provider, your health care team may include a nutritionist and a certified diabetes educator. Take notes at appointments and ask for a summary of your visits
  • Start with small changes to create healthy habits
  • Make healthy eating and physical activity part of your daily routine

Diabetes Tips printable sheet in English

Diabetes Tips printable sheet in Spanish

Additional resources:

Managing Diabetes: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 

Diabetes: CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Tools for the Team - Diabetes prevention toolkit: American Medical Association 

Diabetes Awareness 2022