November has been designated national diabetes awareness month. During this month, communities across our country focus on informing and educating everyone on this health care epidemic. In 2018, there is an emphasis on promoting good health after a gestational diabetic pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during a pregnancy, but goes away (resolves on its own) after the delivery of the child.
Studies have shown, though, that half of all women who experienced gestational diabetes go on to develop diabetes at a later date. Additionally, the children also have a higher risk of developing diabetes during their lifetime. Thus, the emphasis is on close monitoring during the pregnancy; early screening/prenatal care during subsequent pregnancies; healthy eating, and (personal)risk reduction. These initiatives are all important to reduce the occurrence of diabetes in mother, and child in the future.
In addition to these national efforts, The International Diabetes Federation is an organization of over 230 national diabetes associations in 170 countries and territories. They are raising awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the entire family; thus, promoting the role of the family in every aspect of diabetes management (care, prevention, and education). Their website notes some very concerning statistics regarding diabetes, from an international focus:
The number of people with diabetes is expected to rise to 522 million by the year 2030.
3 out of 4 people with diabetes live in low to middle income countries.
1 in 2 people with diabetes remain undiagnosed (approximately 212 million people)
80% of the cases of type 2 diabetes is preventable through a healthy lifestyle
The education initiatives being launched in November serve well all year round. On behalf of several organizations, I am proud to list some available resources/ toolkits/ downloads and more for use in the education, prevention, and care management of diabetes. Please feel free to share these links with family, friends, your church, worksite colleagues, and community as a whole. Let us all join forces to address this global health issue.