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Susie Malone

November is National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Month.  Adjectives that identify diabetes are “sneaky” and “silent;” it is called the Silent Killer.

November is a time when communities bring attention to diabetes. Many clubs in Alabama that are affiliated with the GFWC Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs have worked diligently in their communities promoting diabetes awareness. Alabama President Randy Matthews selected diabetes awareness as her President’s Project for 2020-2022.   

Despite the pandemic, AFWC members have raised more than $14,000 for diabetes awareness.

Type 2 diabetes is more commonly seen in middle-age or older adults, but with the rise of obesity in children, diabetes is being diagnosed more frequently in young people. About 208,000 people younger than 20 years are living with diagnosed diabetes.

Proper treatment is essential for preventing long-term health problems caused by diabetes.

AFWC partnered with the Camp Seale Harris/Southeastern Diabetes Educational services, whose mission is to educate, encourage and empower children living with diabetes and their families to live well.

Hundreds of Alabama children and young adults attend this year-round support organization. This past year the GFWC/AFWC Book Lovers Study Club and individual members have donated more than $500 to the Camp Seale Harris services.

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 84 million U.S. adults have pre-diabetes and don’t know they have it. This year’s ADA focus is on pre-diabetes and preventing diabetes.

Pre-diabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. The good news, is if you discover high blood sugar early, lose weight and increase physical activity, you can prevent or delay the disease. 
The following are suggestions to help manage pre-diabetes and prevent diabetes:

Change your lifestyle: Make changes to your lifestyle and daily habits. The key is to get back on track as soon as you can.

Move more: Limit time spent sitting and try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week.

Choose healthier foods and drinks: Pick foods that are high in fiber and low in fat and sugar. Eat a balanced diet of vegetables, protein and carbohydrates. Drink water instead of sweetened drinks.

Lose weight: You might prevent or delay diabetes by losing 5-7 percent of your starting weight.

Seek support: Make a plan, track your progress and get support from your healthcare professional and loved ones to assist you to help reverse pre-diabetes.

The diabetes symbol is the blue circle. The International Diabetes Federation selected this symbol in 2006 because in many cultures, a circle can symbolize life and health. IDF chose the color blue for the color of the sky and the flag of the United Nations, which stands for unity among many nations.

World Diabetes Day is Nov. 14, so let me encourage you to wear blue for diabetes awareness!

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