Diabetes Affects Every Family

November is Diabetes Month, a time to pause and take stock of our collective efforts in managing and preventing diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes and the cost of managing this disease is a staggering $327 billion annually. That’s 25% of the total health dollars spent in 2017. This is no small change and an unsustainable position in the long run. In dealing with this gigantic financial cost to our healthcare system, we often overlook the burden on family and caregivers. The uncompensated care and support provided by family and loved ones who play a huge role in improving the health outcomes for people living with diabetes.

 As we begin this month discussing all things diabetes, I hope we start by taking a moment to recognize the amazing caregivers in our community who assist loved ones as they journey towards better blood sugar control and healthy lifestyle choices. We salute our diabetes educators and lifestyle coaches for their passion and dedication to self-management education and empowering people living with diabetes.

Given the correlation between family health history and the risk for type 2 diabetes, let’s spend some time to access our own risk for diabetes and take advantage of the resources available to improve the health of our families and reduce the prevalence of diabetes.

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