Awareness is Key
October is known for Breast Cancer Awareness. September is known for Childhood Cancer Month. What most Americans do not know is that November is American Diabetes Month. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Lung Cancer are all “made aware” during the month of November. Although they have a month dedicated to them, many of these sicknesses are not put into the public eye.
Take Diabetes for example, this effects over 35 million people in the United States, which is equal to 10.5% of the population. Type 1 Diabetes effects 1.25 million whereas Type 2 Diabetes affects 34 million people.
Type 1 Diabetes is caused by a patient’s immune system fighting and attacking the insulin-creating beta cells in the pancreas. The triggers of this disease differ from patient to patient. For many patients, Type 1 runs in their family, for others, there could be a previous sickness that led to the discovery. Patients with Type 1 do not make insulin at all, their body completely shuts down the insulin producing beta-cells in the pancreas.
How do you know if you may have Type 1 Diabetes? Are you feeling extra fatigue or thirsty? Are you losing weight even though you are eating? For many people they go into the doctor for another sickness and leave with this diagnosis. These are not the only symptoms, and if you have these it does not mean you have Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 is known to many as Juvenile Diabetes. Juvenile Diabetes is diagnosed in the range of four-years-old to 14-years-old. A diagnosis after that is rare but it does occur. For patients diagnosed later in life, there is normally a genetic component or an illness that triggered the sickness. To help treat, patients must take daily insulin to try and control their levels.
Type 2 Diabetes is caused by the build of insulin in the blood. Cells are unable to accept insulin, causing insulin resistance. Patients with Type 2 do not respond to insulin, they are unable to use insulin effectively. Another name for Type 2 Diabetes is Adult Onset Diabetes. The symptoms are very similar to Type 1 Diabetes, but the treatment is not. Unlike patients with Type 1, Type 2 Diabetes can be treated with more than just daily injections. Ways to help treat range anywhere from daily injections of inulin to just eating better and working out more.
One common misconception of Type 1 and Type 2 is that both are caused by not taking care of your body, which is not true for either. Like stated before, the leading cause is genetics or there is a trigger that sets it off. For many patients they take care of themselves and eat well and there is nothing they can do to stop the diagnosis. Another misconception is that insulin shots will completely cure Type 1 and Type 2. Insulin shots during Type 1 provides the body with the required amount, since the pancreas is no longer working. With Type 2, insulin shots are not the first step to treatment. Changing your appetite and lifestyle may help treatment.
There is a different type of diabetes that is not taught and talked about. Gestational Diabetes is the under production of insulin during a pregnancy. The woman is not able to make enough insulin to provide for her and the baby. Like Type 1 and Type 2, gestational has the same symptoms. For some patients, a change in diet, and exercise is enough treatment. For other patients, if their blood sugar is too high, insulin injections may be needed for treatment.
Diabetes effects 1 in 11 adults in America. Certain sicknesses do not even have over 1 million diagnoses, but they still get more recognition than a sickness with over 35 million diagnoses. Whether a friend or a family member you know has Diabetes, make sure you show them love during the month of November.