November is the perfect time to promote diabetes awareness in your community. November is post-Halloween and the month that leads us into the holiday season. This is traditionally a time of overeating and little activity.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic is going to make these problems worse for many. That is especially true for many people with diabetes who are already having problems practicing a healthy lifestyle and controlling their blood sugar levels. For people who have pre-diabetes and may not know it, an unhealthy lifestyle may be the trigger to push them into clinical diabetes.
People with diabetes are being hit hard by Covid-19
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) calls type 2 diabetes an underlying medical condition that increases the risk of severe illness from the virus causing COVID-19. People with type 1 diabetes may be at increased risk. Statistics bear this out. The CDC reports that diabetes was noted as an underlying condition for approximately 4 in 10 patients with COVID-19. Consequently, among people younger than 65 who died from the infection, about half had diabetes. There are even case reports that COVID-19 might cause type 1 diabetes.
The risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if diabetes is well-managed. Therefore, when people with diabetes do not manage their diabetes well and experience fluctuating blood sugar levels, they are generally at risk for a number of diabetes-related complications.
How to increase diabetes awareness
Now is the time to reach out to your community to raise awareness of diabetes and its complications. And with this you can provide suggestions for prevention and management.
- Describe symptoms of high blood sugar to educate those with diabetes about their condition. Some of these symptoms include frequent urination, feeling very thirsty, or blurry vision.
- Offer tips on how to prevent the disease or lower blood sugar. These include encouraging healthy lifestyle changes and proper medication management.
One of the best ways to raise awareness is with Medicom Health’s Diabetes Health Assessment. The short assessment can be finished in under 4 minutes and offers a complete report which educates about the risks of diabetes. The HRA also provides an assessment of factors that contribute to increased complications.
Take action to educate your community so they can be encouraged to take next steps. If knowledge is power, then knowing the risks of diabetes will empower people in your community to make small changes for big effects.