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November is perfect time to learn about diabetes

November is American Diabetes Month, a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control.

For years, the American Diabetes Association has used this month as an opportunity to raise awareness of the disease and its serious complications.

In 2009, the association launched a national movement to Stop Diabetes – with the audacious goal of gathering the support millions of Americans to help confront, fight and most importantly, stop diabetes.

With nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States living with diabetes, and an additional 57 million Americans at risk, there is no time to waste. One out of every three children born today will face a future with diabetes if current trends continue.

Diabetes is not merely a condition. It is disease with deadly consequences. Drastic action is needed. From everyone.

As we reach the one year mark of the Stop Diabetes movement this November, the association will celebrate those who have already raised their hands and pledged to join the fight.

And we will ask the rest of the nation a simple, yet vital question: How will you stop diabetes? The future is in your hands.

The Stop Diabetes movement encourages individuals to get involved by sharing, acting, learning and giving. Here are ways you can join the movement this November:

Share – “Share Your Vision to Stop Diabetes” by posting your video on stopdiabetes.com.

Act – The future of diabetes is in your hands. Take action now by visiting stopdiabetes.com or calling 1-800-DIABETES.

• Text JOIN to 69866 to join the movement to Stop Diabetes. Standard data and message rates apply.

• Become an advocate for the cause and receive alerts and critical information to help stop diabetes through our advocacy efforts.

• Attend a local community activity to learn more about diabetes and how you can stop it.

• Take control of your health. Request your free copy of “Top Five Ways to Stop Diabetes and Get Healthy Right Now!” or “What Can I Eat?” booklet by calling 1-800-DIABETES.

• Download your own Check Up Checklist at stopdiabetes.com and bring it to your next health care provider’s visit.

Learn – Become a part of the movement by learning more about diabetes.

• Learn how to survive the holidays with the “Celebration Survival Guide” available at stopdiabetes.com or 1-800-DIABETES.

Give

• The drive to stop diabetes cannot succeed without individuals dedicating time, effort and funds to support our mission-critical activities in your neighborhood. You can get involved by visiting stopdiabetes.com or calling your local American Diabetes Office at 1-800-DIABETES. Key Messages

• The American Diabetes Association is behind the largest national movement to Stop Diabetes.

• So far, 897,000 people have joined the movement to Stop Diabetes (as of November 2010). The Association’s goal is to gather 1 million supporters by the end of December.

• During American Diabetes Month 2011, the American Diabetes Association wants to know how you will Stop Diabetes.

• The future of diabetes is in your hands. Become one of the millions in the movement by going to stopdiabetes.com or by calling 1-800-DIABETES to see all the ways you can show your support and learn what you can do to get involved in your own community.

About Diabetes Prevalence

• Nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.

• Another 57 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

• One out of every 3 children (and 1 in 2 minority children) born in the United States today will face a future with diabetes if current trends continue.

The Toll on Health

The death rate from diabetes continues to climb. Since 1987, the death rate due to diabetes has increased by 45 percent while the death rates due to cancer, heart disease, and stroke have declined.

• About 60-70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nerve damage that could result in pain in the feet or hands, slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction, and other nerve problems.

• The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for people without diabetes.

• Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

• Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.

• Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.

Cost of Diabetes

• The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion.

• Direct medical costs reach $116 billion, and the average medical expenditure among people with diabetes is 2.3 times higher than those without the disease.

• Indirect costs amount to $58 billion (disability, work loss, premature mortality).

• Further published studies suggest that when additional costs for gestational diabetes, prediabetes, and undiagnosed diabetes are included, the total diabetes-related costs in the U.S. could exceed $218 billion.

• The cost of caring for someone with diabetes is $1 out of every $5 in total healthcare costs.

For more information in English and Spanish call 1-800-DIABETES or visit stopdiabetes.com. Also call Lawrence County Health Department at 740-532-3962 for information or go to www.diabetesfamily.net, the Diabetes: A Family Matter website.

Maxine Lewis is the health educator at the Lawrence County Health Department. She can be reached at (740) 532-3962.