National Diabetes Month is observed every November so individuals, health care professionals, organizations, and communities across the country can bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans.
This year, the National Diabetes Education Program’s theme is: Managing Diabetes – It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It. This theme highlights the importance of managing diabetes to prevent diabetes-related health problems such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, and amputation. The theme also serves as a reminder to people who may be struggling with the demands of managing diabetes that they are not alone.
Diabetes is a serious disease that requires self-management education and support as early as possible to prevent diabetes-related health problems in the future.
- Research has shown that managing diabetes as early as possible can help prevent diabetes-related health problems such as kidney disease, vision loss, heart disease and stroke.
- Managing diabetes is a balancing act. Self-management behaviors include maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, making healthy food choices, and taking medications as prescribed.
- Diabetes self-management education and support can improve quality of life, increase healthy coping skills, and decrease diabetes-related distress.
Managing diabetes is not easy. Having a plan and setting goals can help you take small steps to stay healthy.
- Many people struggle with diabetes. You are not alone. Making changes in how you care for your health is all a matter of trying and learning.
- You don’t have to make big lifestyle changes all at once. Set realistic goals based on what’s important to you.
- Small changes – such as walking for 15 minutes twice a day or replacing sugary drinks with water – are small steps that can go a long way to help you manage your diabetes.
Managing diabetes is a team effort that requires participation from you, your family members, your health care team, and other networks of support.
- Diabetes can be overwhelming. It is a hard disease to manage alone.
- You are the most important member of your health care team. Learn as much as you can about your disease and talk to your diabetes care team about how you can best care for your diabetes to stay healthy.
- If you are having trouble coping with the demands of diabetes, ask for help. Having a network of support from family, friends, and your health care team can help you stay on track with your diabetes plan.
Resources for You
The NDEP offers many resources that you can use to support people with diabetes in your community. Here are some of the resources you can highlight with the media.
For more information, please visit www.ndep.nih.gov/DiabetesMonth2016.