Nov 9th, 2022

November is American Diabetes Month, a time for us to join the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in ringing the alarm on the diabetes epidemic.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States (CDC).

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how your body turns food into energy (CDC). Let's dive into the basics so you have a better understanding and awareness. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant).


Type 1 Diabetes: when the body does not make insulin, which is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. Approximately 5-10% with diabetes have type 1, and it's usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. With type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin every day.

Type 2 Diabetes: when your body doesn’t use insulin properly and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2, and it's usually diagnosed in adults. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle.

Gestational Diabetes: develops in pregnant women who have never had diabetes. It increases the likelihood that their baby has obesity as a child or teen and develops type 2 diabetes later in life.

More than 37 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 5 of them don’t know they have it (CDC).

Too much blood sugar that stays in your bloodstream can, over time, cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.


If you have any of the following diabetes symptoms, see your doctor about getting your blood sugar tested:

  • Urinate (pee) a lot, often at night
  • Are very thirsty
  • Lose weight without trying
  • Are very hungry
  • Have blurry vision
  • Have numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Feel very tired
  • Have very dry skin
  • Have sores that heal slowly
  • Have more infections than usual

To learn more about symptoms for each type of diabetes, click here.

In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese (CDC). It's important, now more than ever and especially during American Diabetes Month, to know about this disease.

If you've been diagnosed with diabetes or have been fighting against type 1 or type 2 diabetes for a while, visit the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for the best tools, health tips, food ideas, and resources.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) & American Diabetes Association (ADA)