The month of November usually brings to mind many thoughts; images of families coming together for Thanksgiving, stores decorating early for the holiday season, and the celebrated Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not many people think of diabetes when they think of November.

     November is also the national American Diabetes Month. According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 26 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes and nearly 79 million are in danger of developing type two diabetes. 

     Although the disease affects 26 million people, many do not understand the disease, nor do they take it seriously. 

     Diabetes is a disease that is developed when blood levels are above what they normally should be. Diabetes can be split in two ways; type one and type two.  Type one diabetes is when the body does not produce insulin and type two diabetes is when the body does not respond to any of the effects of insulin. According to WebMD, insulin is what helps regulate blood sugar levels and allow sugar to be used as energy.

     Diabetes symptoms should not be taken lightly. Many people with diabetes, and before being diagnosed with diabetes have the following symptoms: frequent urination, excessive thirst and hunger, blurred vision, nausea, unusual weight gain and weight loss, vaginal and yeast infections, as well as cuts that are slow in healing. If someone is experiencing any or all of these symptoms, he or she is encouraged to call their doctor to get tested for diabetes. 

  According to the American Diabetes Association, someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 17 seconds. When someone is diagnosed with diabetes, whether it be type one or type two diabetes, it is important to learn about the different treatments that there are to offer those with diabetes. Many treatments include different types of insulin as well as oral medications, which are given to those who still have enough insulin to help maintain blood sugar levels. 

      The American Diabetes Association also states that diabetes claims the lives of more people than HIV/AIDS and breast cancer combined, and that by 2050, one in three Americans will have diabetes. 

      The American Diabetes Association encourages everyone to get involved in the cause to stop diabetes. By “liking” their facebook page  www.facebook.com/AmericanDiabetesAssociation, they will be taking the pledge to stop diabetes. People can also visit www.stopdiabetes.com or call 1-800-DIABETES to learn more about what can be done to help prevent and stop diabetes. For more information, go to www.diabetes.org.

     Angela Thomas is a fourth-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at AT683005@wcupa.edu. 

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