If you’re living with diabetes, you’re already aware of the impact the condition can have on your life — but chances are strong that other people in your orbit don’t know as much as they could about the disease. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness for the condition — particularly in November, which is Diabetes Awareness Month.
It can be hard when your friends and family don’t know what you’re going through. It can also feel difficult to say no to loved ones who don’t understand your situation, because you might worry about how your relationships will be affected.
Raising awareness about diabetes is important so your friends, family, and acquaintances can better understand how to support you.
Before you can create public awareness by sharing information with others, it’s a good idea to understand the specifics about diabetes. Learn more about diabetes’ causes, signs and symptoms, and treatments.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease in which your body is unable to regulate the levels of glucose, a type of sugar, in your blood. Type 2 diabetes usually progresses over time and can lead to many serious complications. Type 2 diabetes can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, and diet changes.
In some early cases of type 2 diabetes, the disease can be reversed. Symptoms vary among people with type 2 diabetes, but common symptoms include intense hunger and thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, blurry vision, slowed healing, numbness or tingling in the extremities, and frequent infections.
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t produce an adequate amount of insulin to regulate glucose in the body. Type 1 is less common than type 2 diabetes and is often diagnosed in childhood or during the teenage years.
After you’re armed with information about diabetes, you can share it with others. The fastest and least expensive way for this kind of advocacy is through social media. You can post information about diabetes, share details about the condition, and join communities of other people who are also working to raise awareness about diabetes.
“OMG — I just found the best way to make my family aware,” said one DiabetesTeam member of their social media use. “I made a post on my Facebook account — everyone in my family knows I am diabetic, they also know I have other diseases with no cure.”
To ensure your messages on social media reach as many people as possible, consider using an appropriate diabetes-related hashtag, like #Diabetes, #DiabetesAwareness, or #DiabetesAwarenessMonth. This way, your posts will be seen by more people who have the same interests, and they’re more likely to share and comment.
Social media helps raise awareness for the condition, and it also allows other people with diabetes to realize they aren’t alone. Joining a diabetes community on social media, such as DiabetesTeam, can also help you connect with others.
Another way to raise awareness about diabetes is to participate in an activity dedicated to the cause. You can walk or run for diabetes, play bingo, host a silent auction or fundraiser, or even create a unique event that works for your interests. You can help other people understand more about diabetes while having fun and raising money for the cause.
If you are able to, you can also donate to the American Diabetes Association to support diabetes research and advocacy.
On DiabetesTeam, more than 115,000 people living with diabetes come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with the condition.
Share your diabetes journey in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.