World Diabetes Day – Think you know your ABCs?

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.

You can gain control over your ABCs. At (or for the Spanish version), people living with the challenges of diabetes can access educational information and:

  • 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:

Pledge to Promote World Diabetes Day in 3 Ways

Ask the FDA to Better Serve Diabetes Patient Needs

People with Diabetes Need Health Care Reform

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


Carole Brown
Carole B8 years ago

I have type 2 diabetes and find it difficult to control as I also suffer with CFS and Fibromyalgia and have great difficulty making sure I eat correctly.
I live with my unmarried son who does his best to be supportive.
As I am not able to be very mobile because of restrictions imposed by the above ailments everything is rather hit and miss. As I`m so lacking in energy and suffer quite severe aching it is very hard for me to prepare meals which means I tend to snack or eat takeaways too much.
I am now considering ordering ready prepared meals as there are a couple of companies I have found on the Internet and they do also do meals for Diabetics.
Diabetes is very hard to control when you have other chronic problems also!

Susan Murray
Susan Dykhuis8 years ago

I am type 2 and am very, very careful regarding diet. With great diligence my blood reading is at 4 to 7; most of the time it is 5. To achieve this means paying attention to diet, eating 3 meals, 2 snacks a day, taking 1000 mg Metformin/day (500mg AM - 500mg PM). Moderate exercise is essential. I like to swim and walk as exercise and keep myself physically busy according to season. Right now that means preparing my garden for winter and raking leaves...lots of leaves!
This site is very informative:

Theresa H.
Theresa H8 years ago

I am borderline sugar so I eat everything sugar free & diet free & many supermarkets do not advertise the items in their stores so therefore many people who are diabetic do not find the proper items in the stores as they are difficult to find. Lets get after the supermarkets to help the diabetics.

Eileen Martin C.
eileen c8 years ago

Jamie B. ...the fact that your Mom developed type 1 @ 7 years old and has lived this long is a miracle. The fact that you and any siblings exist is also miraculous. The treatments available during most of her life were good considering the then current level of technology, but they were difficult to live with. Current treatments are patient-driven (as I'm sure you know...) and much more effective in preventing damage to eyes, kidneys and nerves. As a 1st-degree relative, I hope you're taking excellent care of yourself and doing regular screening with your doc or nurse, and urging your loved ones to do the same. Monitoring and education are our most powerful tools in dealing with this disease. Please stay well.

Eileen, RN

Jamie B.
Marijo B8 years ago

My mother, age 72, has had type 1 diabetes since age 7 and is now in the terminal stage of this horrible disease. She is nearly blind, has lost the use of her hands and arms, has had1 leg amputated and is suffering from dementia and it appears her kidneys are failing. She never followed a diet or exercise program. She often skipped meals and ate cookies and soda pop instead of "real food" and believed that she would be fine. Type 1 diabetes can kill you even if you follow all the rules, but at least then you would have a fighting chance. Type 2 is actually possible to control or even reverse with diet. You don't want to go through the horrors that my dear mother has endured. For God's sake, if you have diabetes, please take care of yourself!