November is National Diabetes Month and Nov. 14 is World Diabetes Day. Why devote the month and that day to diabetes awareness?
- Here’s a great reason: The risk of diabetes might run in your family. Don’t think of it as just something your grandparent or your neighbor’s friend has; think of it as something that could affect you in your lifetime.
- Virginia Mason’s Endocrinology Section Head, Grace Lee, MD says, “Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. Join us as we come together as a global community to increase the awareness about diabetes.”
If diabetes runs in your family and you think you might be at risk, don’t despair. With early diagnosis and treatment, the majority of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by focusing on certain risk factors – unhealthy diets, tobacco use, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity. The National Diabetes Education Program says making changes in how you care for your health is all about choosing a goal and working toward it:
- Think about what is important to your health. What are you willing and able to do?
- Decide what your goals are. What changes do you want to make? Choose one goal to work on first.
- Decide what steps will help you reach your goal.
- Pick one step to try this week.
Simple action steps could include making healthier food choices and being active at least 30 minutes, five days per week. Losing 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight can greatly improve your overall health and decrease your risk for diabetes.
On the evening of November 14, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason will be one of 12 buildings and monuments in the Puget Sound area that will light blue to shine light on Seattle’s unique diabetes research collaboration and dedication to outstanding clinical care. Learn more at benaroyaresearch.org/wdd.