Pre-Diabetes and Everyday Heroes

| Oct 1, 2009

According to the American Diabetes Association, "one out of every three children born today will face a future with diabetes if the current trends continue." It's a sobering thought. Because November is designated American Diabetes Month, it seems a good time for those of us in the diabetes community to reach out to those who will face diabetes in the future: the 57 million Americans who are currently at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes already runs deep in my family: I am the daughter, sister, and granddaughter of family members who progressed from pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes. Because pre-diabetes has had such an enormous impact on my loved ones, it is an issue that I've always wanted to take on personally. Consequently, we at Diabetes Health have decided to honor this significant month by launching our Pre-Diabetes Room at DiabetesHealth.com.  

Many people who have pre-diabetes don't understand the potential impact of what they are facing, and they don't know where to find the information that will explain it to them. So we've designed the Pre-Diabetes Room to be a friendly and comfortable place where people with pre-diabetes and their families can come to read the latest research, find tips on how to slow or prevent complications, and connect with other people who have been told that they are at risk.

Earlier this year, you might recall, I suggested that each of you make one small improvement in your regimen as a first step toward better health.  American Diabetes Month might also be a good time to put your good intentions into action. When you think about it, doing so could actually be considered an act of patriotism. Our government is grappling with national healthcare, and your good health is also good economics. If you make a personal, daily effort-no matter how small-over time it will not only make a difference in your life, but will also improve the outlook for our healthcare system as a whole.

The 57 million people with pre-diabetes are also going to have an enormous impact on our healthcare system. So if you know people at risk for diabetes, why not educate them about what they can do to have the healthiest life possible? Information is power, and the more educated they are about their health, the more proactive they can be in managing it. 

Perhaps you would like to reach out to others by blogging about your experiences with type 1, type 2, or pre-diabetes. If you would like to contribute to our community in that way, please send me an email about yourself, and we'll set you up as an official Diabetes Health blogger. You can reach me at nadia@diabeteshealth.com or write to editor@diabeteshealth.com.

Our October/November issue always honors everyday diabetes heroes. This time around, you can read about Donna Marcelissen, who participated in the groundbreaking Edmonton Protocol ten years ago at the University of Alberta. Ironman athlete Jay Hewitt describes a young boy he met at a diabetes camp who never stops trying. And Katherine Marple, another everyday hero, tells her story of maturing from an isolated and hopeless teenager with type 1 into a strong, responsible woman who feels connected to the diabetes community.

We have also included profiles of famous people who surmount the challenge of diabetes every day. Actress Olympia Dukakis and her husband, actor Louis Zorich, face his type 2 diabetes with humor, energy, and the resolve to educate other older people about being screened for diabetes. Rob Blase, who had given up professional surfing, returned to the sport as a way of staying healthy after he was diagnosed with type 1. Charlie Kimball, the only professional American open-wheel racecar driver with type 1 diabetes, teaches others that it's possible to drive responsibly by being prepared for the highs and lows.

We're all in this together. Let's help each other, work to keep ourselves healthy through diet, exercise, and good healthcare, and help to educate those with pre-diabetes who are new to our community.

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Categories: Columns, Diabetes, Diabetes, Heroes, Making a Difference, Pre-Diabetes, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues


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