National Diabetes Awareness Month

November 6, 2022 at 5:25 p.m.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. It affects about 37 million Americans, including adults and youth. Diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart, and is linked to some types of cancer.

Diabetes ABCs
Talk to your health care team about how to manage your A1C, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol. This can help lower your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes problems. Start with small steps. Step one is learn as much as you can about diabetes. Develop a diabetes management plan with your health care provider, and get routine care to manage your health.

New data was released to help raise awareness of diabetes during National Diabetes Awareness Month (November).

MedStar Health recently conducted a survey and found that the majority of people cannot identify common myths about diabetes - and 32% of people did not understand that there are two types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Below are some common myths, with the % of people surveyed who agreed with the statement. The statements below are false: 

  • Eating too much sugar causes diabetes - 61%
  • If someone is on insulin, it means that they are not doing a good job of managing their blood sugar - 44%
  • A person can stop taking diabetes medicines once their blood sugar is under control - 43%
  • Diabetes runs in families, so only people with a diabetic family member have to worry about getting the disease - 34%
  • People who have diabetes can never eat sweets - 31%
  • There’s nothing you can do to prevent diabetes - 26%
  • It is not safe to exercise with diabetes - 24%
  • If someone has borderline diabetes, then they don’t need to worry - 23%
  • Diabetes is inconvenient but not serious - 22%

Amazing Fact: Insulin was first used to treat diabetes in 1922 - that is 100 years of managing diabetes to celebrate this year!

More facts about diabetes:
  • Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have similar names but they're actually different diseases with different causes.
  • Type 1 diabetes is believed to result from an autoimmune reaction and usually develops early in life. It is thought that in Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. After these beta cells are destroyed, the body is unable to produce insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes develops over the course of many years and is usually diagnosed in adults – risk factors include excess weight and lack of exercise.
  • Both types of diabetes are chronic diseases that affect the way your body regulates blood sugar or glucose. Glucose feeds your body’s cells, but it needs insulin to enter your cells.
  • Both types of diabetes can cause chronically high blood sugar levels, and this increases the complications that might arise from diabetes.
  • Eating well and monitoring your blood sugar levels is essential. Your health care provider will develop a plan with you.
  • Symptoms of diabetes can include frequent urination, feeling very thirsty, feeling fatigued, having cuts or sores that don’t heal properly, having blurry vision and very dry skin, getting more infections than usual.

For more information, visit National Diabetes Month 2022 | NIDDK (

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