Each November, National Diabetes Awareness Month provides an opportunity to heighten awareness of this chronic condition, its potential complications, and how to manage it. Diabetes can cause damage to the eyes as well as kidneys, nerves, and heart. Having the condition increases the risk for vision loss from diabetic eye diseases, the most common being diabetic retinopathy. Individuals with diabetes also face a higher risk for developing diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. Early detection, treatment, and effective management can “help people with diabetes to lower the risk of vision loss.” The focus of this year’s monthly recognition is on “managing diabetes by building your health care team.” Among the recommendations for those with the condition from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
– Learn as much as possible about the disease and its management;
– Manage diabetes early: set goals for controlling risk factors, such as blood pressure, glucose levels, and cholesterol, with your primary health care provider to help prevent diabetes-related health problems.
– Build a diabetes health care team: In addition to the primary care provider, other professionals, such as an eye doctor, dietician, endocrinologist, and podiatrist, can be part of the team involved in regular care; and
– Adopt and maintain healthy habits in diet and regular physical activity.
Find out more about the November commemoration from the American Diabetes Association writeup on American Diabetes Month® and from NIDDKD’s description of National Diabetes Month 2022: Diabetes Management – It Takes a Team. Learn specifics about vision consequences from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s webpages on National Diabetes Month 2022 and Diabetic Eye Disease Resources.
Some Virtual Events During Diabetes Awareness Month
Events, both in-person and virtual, are being held throughout November to provide resources and information about diabetes. Following are a few that are virtual and free of charge for participants to join, via registration on Eventbrite:
On November 3, 2022, from 7 to 8 pm ET, “Unsweetened Reality: Living with Diabetes,” a Women’s Wellness Webinar from Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health, experts will discuss how to prevent diabetes as well as manage the disease for those affected. For more information and to register, visit the listing for Unsweetened Reality: Living with Diabetes.
On November 8, 2022 and December 6, 2022, from 11 am to 12:30 ET, classes in the Diabetes Self-Management series from Crystal Run Healthcare will cover, respectively, “Medications/Monitoring Blood Sugar” and “Emotions and Support/Exercise/Changing Habits.” Certified diabetes educators will be presenting. Find out more and register here for the Diabetes Self-Management Education Class Series.
On November 10, 2022 from 11 am to 12:30 pm ET, “Managing Diabetes During the Holidays” promises to help participants “Learn how to fill a healthy plate and fit in all the foods you love.” The event is offered by the UF(University of Florida)/IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) Extension Polk County Family and Consumer Sciences. Register here for Managing Diabetes During the Holidays.