Do you know the ABCs of diabetes? If you or someone you love lives with diabetes, knowing your ABCs could mean the difference between life and death.
November 14 is World Diabetes Day, and there’s no better time to take control over this life-changing and sometimes life-threatening disease. New online tools are making that task easier than ever.
Many people, even those who live with diabetes, remain unaware of the true risks. It may surprise you to know that:
- Two out of three Americans with diabetes die of a heart attack or stroke.
- One new case is diagnosed every 20 seconds in the United States, and the disease and its complications kill one American every seven minutes.
- African-Americans are 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than Caucasian-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans are 1.6 times more likely to have diabetes.
- There are 24 million people in the U.S. with diabetes and 57 million others are risk. If current trends continue, one out of every three children born today will face a future with diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association and the Ad Council, working with the National Council of La Raza and the American Association of Diabetes Educators, rolled out a new series of national public service advertisements (PSAs) and online tools designed to raise awareness of the risks of uncontrolled diabetes and help those Americans with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to get answers and learn how to prevent complications.
The PSAs, available in English and Spanish, are aimed at educating diabetics about sudden and deadly complications if the disease is not properly managed. Take a look:
So what are the ABC’s that every person with diabetes should know?
A1C: That’s your average blood glucose level over the last three months. The A1C goal for most people is below 7. High blood glucose levels can harm your heart and blood vessels, kidneys, feet, and eyes.
Blood Pressure: Simply put, high blood pressure makes your heart work too hard and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Cholesterol: The LDL goal for most people is less than 100. The HDL goal for most people is above 40. LDL, the bad cholesterol, can build up and clog your blood vessels, causing heart attacks or stroke. HDL, the good cholesterol, helps remove cholesterol from your blood vessels. Diet is crucial.
- Select action plans and track personal progress.
- Download an interactive widget with diabetes-related content and resources that can be accessed directly from a personal desktop.
- Access a virtual diabetes health care professional who explains more about those ABCs of diabetes.
Do something positive for yourself on World Diabetes Day. Visit Diabetes Act Now and take advantage of the interactive educational tools that will help put you in control. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter.
Knowledge is power — please help spread awareness during November, Diabetes Awareness Month.
Care2 Action Items:
From Care2 Reform Health Policy: Diabetes Awareness Month: It’s not always a silent killer
From Care2 Healthy and Green Living: Are You at Risk for Diabetes? Top 7 Factors
Photo: Diabetes Act Now