Did you know November is Diabetes Awareness Month? November 14th is ‘World Diabetes Day' celebrated in honor of Dr. Frederick Banting, credited to have discovered insulin. The American Diabetic Association has been celebrating Diabetes Awareness month since 1975 in the United States.
Millions of Americans are suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A lot of them are dealing with insulin dependency. Over the past 2 years, patients have suffered additional concerns as patients with diabetes are at greater risk of morbidity due to Covid-19 illness. As individual patients are living with this day-to-day, it’s easy to be dismissive about the utility of an awareness month, when for patients every day is ‘Diabetes day!’
However, I hope all my patients with diabetes are able to appreciate the value of such an awareness month. After all managing diabetes is a community effort. We need participation from the Government as well as the private sector to push for not just control but a cure of diabetes. We need legislation to control the rising cost of medications and insulin. We need access to resources so we can prevent diabetes or reverse it, than just ‘control’ or ‘manage’ it. We need employers on board so they understand the need for lunch breaks, privacy to take insulin, or the need to take time off for doctors' appointments.
During this awareness month, multiple diabetes organizations such JDRF, ADA, as well as private companies, carry out awareness campaigns, fundraising events. These events provide a venue for patients with diabetes to share their stories, struggles, and triumphs. It highlights the message ‘you are not in this battle alone. We are in this together.