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November is American Diabetes Month

Every month is dedicated toward raising awareness for a specific health issue. November is meant to help prevent one disease that seems to be becoming more and more prevalent. This month is American Diabetes Month, and may play a large part in combating the ailment.

Recent research indicates that diabetes is a growing issue. Even from a financial perspective, the disease makes a significant impact. According to the American Diabetes Association, the total cost of diabetes was $245 billion in 2012, a 41 percent increase over the findings from the ADA’s 2007 study.

“The cost of diabetes is rising at a rate higher than overall medical costs with more than one in 10 health care dollars in the country being spent directly on diabetes and its complications, and more than one in five health care dollars in the U.S. going to the care of people with diagnosed diabetes,” said Robert Ratner, the ADA’s chief scientific and medical officer.

Currently, 26 million American adults suffer from the disease, but that number could grow significantly in the near future as 76 million people have prediabetes, the ADA reports. These patients are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if their conditions remain untreated.

Unfortunately, some of these people won’t even know that they could develop diabetes because they aren’t aware of the disease’s prevalence or symptoms. That’s why doctors need to raise awareness for the condition throughout November. By spreading the word, the medical community can ensure that all of their patients are doing their best to avoid diabetes.

One way to achieve this feat is to distribute promotional items with special imagery. In addition to logos and contact information, health care providers can emblazon “American Diabetes Month” on promotional pens and note pads to ensure that patients don’t forget that they could contract the disease if they don’t lead healthy lifestyles.

Helping patients understand their bodies
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are four primary types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 prevents the natural creation of insulin.
  • Type 2 is when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or is insulin resistant.
  • Gestational affects pregnant women and their children.
  • Other instances are caused by various genetic and external health factors.

It’s important for people to understand the differences between these four because while they are all based on a problem with insulin, they have different causes and treatments. For instance, Type 1 occurs naturally and is unpreventable while Type 2 generally occurs because of dietary choices.

Doctors should do their best to educate their patients this month. If consumers learn how the diseases are different, they’ll be able to take care of themselves and avoid potential difficulties.

That’s why promotional notepads and pens are so beneficial beyond generating diabetes awareness. Recipients can use the items to take notes while meeting with their physicians to ensure that they won’t forget what they learned about diabetes.

Eating better may be the key
Medical professionals should also emphasize the importance of eating right when dealing with diabetes. Miles Hassell, medical director of the Integrative Medicine Program at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center and author of “Good Food, Great Medicine,” explained to The Oregonian that diet and exercise are key to avoiding and controlling the disease.

“In people who take good care of themselves, we see a 70 to 90 percent reduction in diabetes risk. The steps to prevent diabetes are the common-sense steps that everybody knows, deep down, are correct. Don’t be too overweight. Exercise daily. Minimize refined foods. Cook more at home. Eat more fruits, vegetables, beans, grains and healthy fats,” Hassell said.

Doctors should go over the importance of eating a proper diet and staying active to combat diabetes.

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