November is National Diabetes Month 2021 — Here's what you need to know
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) created the observance of National Diabetes Month to help educate and raise awareness of this disease. This year's National Diabetes Month 2021 focuses on prediabetes and how to stop it from leading to diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that usually begins in middle age. The lack of insulin production or use can cause the body to not convert glucose into energy, causing sugar levels to rise in the blood. What's more, diabetes is a lifelong condition that can’t be cured, but it is manageable with the right treatment.
The ADA estimates that 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, but many are not even aware of it. One new case is diagnosed every 21 seconds in America, and diabetes is a contributing cause to the deaths of over 234,000 Americans annually.
There are a lot of risk factors involved in diabetes, such as:
- Being overweight or obese
- Your family's healthcare history
- Having a close relative with diabetes
- Lack of physical activity
- Having a lot of stress in your life
What is prediabetes?
With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not quite high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Knowing the signs and symptoms of prediabetes can help a person make changes that can prevent or delay diabetes. Keep an eye out for:
- Frequent urination
- Sudden weight gain
- Muscle pain
- Joint ache
Risks of prediabetes and prevention
Any of the following conditions can cause prediabetes:
- Being overweight
- Being age 40 or older
- Having a first-degree relative with diabetes
It may not be too late to take charge of your health and avoid the serious complications that come with diabetes. With a few changes, like getting more exercise and eating healthier, you can manage your prediabetes and maybe even stop it from getting worse.
Healthy lifestyle choices to prevent prediabetes
Many people who have prediabetes do not even know they have it. Many often think that having prediabetes means you are already "advanced," but that is only the initial stage of diabetes. Some of the lifestyle changes you can make to keep prediabetes from getting worse can also improve your life, such as:
- Losing weight
- Exercising more often
- Improving your diet
- Reducing stress and anxiety
1 in 3 US adults have prediabetes, but that’s not the end of the story — it only means you’re at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. If you have a prediabetes diagnosis, talk to your doctor about the best diet and exercise program for you to prevent diabetes. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises everyone aged 45 and older who is at risk for diabetes to get screened for prediabetes.
Medication for diabetes and how to find the right one
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there are several medications that can help treat the condition. Some of these are:
Finding the right drug for your condition — and affording it when you find it — isn’t always easy. rxless exists to be a one-stop shop for discounts on prescription medications available at common pharmacies like Walgreens or CVS, including those for diabetes. Even if your insurance covers your diabetes medication, you might still find it for less on rxless.