November is American Diabetes Month, recognized in honor of Dr. Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin in 1921. His birthday was November 14th, which is recognized as World Diabetes Day. While the American Diabetes Association began recognizing American Diabetes Month in 1975, it was not officially recognized until 1981, when President Ronald Regan passed the first proclamation on National Diabetes Month. In the years since, many presidents and congresses have passed proclamations in November to bring awareness to diabetes, its causes, and prevention.
The theme for this year’s National Diabetes Month is “Take Charge of Tomorrow: Preventing Diabetes Health Problems.” The focus will be on bringing awareness to the prevention of diabetes and the other health problems that can result from diabetes. Those health problems include kidney disease, liver disease, poor eye health, cardiovascular disease, and nerve damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 37 million people in the United States have diabetes. That translates to 1 in 10 people. A whopping 20% of those people are undiagnosed.
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, there are some steps you can take to improve your health and help you manage your condition. Managing your A1c (average blood sugar), blood pressure, and cholesterol, which the NIH calls the diabetes ABCs, is one of the most essential steps to prevent health problems related to diabetes. While this may sound daunting, small lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on health. Simple steps such as planning meals in advance and getting regular physical activity can help you improve your cardiovascular health and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Taking any medications you’ve been prescribed on time can also positively impact your health and help you manage diabetes.
Molecular Testing Labs has recently been awarded National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) Level I Laboratory Certification status for our HbA1c test on dried blood. By eliminating the need for a blood draw, this test allows for minimally invasive and convenient sample collection for regular A1c testing. Patients no longer need to take an extra trip to the laboratory to have their blood sugar tested, increasing the likelihood of testing protocol adherence and helping them to stay better informed and included in their healthcare decisions. Providing affordable and convenient diagnostic testing allows us to fill gaps in care and bring healthcare to people in large and small communities, as well as improve health outcomes across the nation.
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- Bellevue University. (2023). National Diabetes Month. https://blogs.bellevue.edu/library/index.php/2018/11/national-diabetes-month/
- Chase County Community Hospital. (2023). November is Diabetes Awareness Month. https://www.chasecountyhospital.com/news/latest/2023/11/november-is-diabetes-awareness-month/
- National Institute of Health. (2023). National Diabetes Month 2023. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-diabetes-month
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, April 4). The Facts, Stats, and Impacts of Diabetes. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html