Every November, people with diabetes, health care professionals, and patient organizations across the United States take part in National Diabetes Month. The event is to raise awareness of diabetes, and the impact it has on millions of Americans.
What is the theme for National Diabetes Month 2017?
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) explain that 2017's theme highlights the importance of managing diabetes to prevent diabetes-related health problems.
For example, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have a stroke or get heart compared with people who do not have diabetes. They are also more likely to develop these conditions at an earlier age than people without diabetes.
People with diabetes are at increased risk of kidney problems because high blood sugar levels can damage the kidneys over time. This damage can occur long before a person starts to experience any obvious symptoms.
Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels, leading to serious, difficult-to-treat infections, particularly in the feet. In some cases, amputation may be needed to stop the infection spreading to other parts of the body. Damage that diabetes causes to blood vessels in the retina can also lead to vision problems and even blindness.
The NIDDK say that the theme of National Diabetes Month for 2017 is to remind people who may be struggling with managing diabetes that they are not alone.