Mary Ann, from Bound Brook, NJ, has witnessed the ravages of diabetes firsthand, but she will not let it get her down. “My mother and grandmother both died from diabetes. It is a killer, attacking about every organ you have,” she said.
Now Mary Ann and her brother both have diabetes. “People need to know about diabetes and how they can prevent developing type 2 diabetes or diabetes complications,” she said. “I want to stop diabetes, so I manage my disease well by taking my medicines, checking my blood glucose regularly, watching what I eat and staying informed,” she said.
During American Diabetes Month® this November, the American Diabetes Association is encouraging people to join Mary Ann by taking action and raising their hand to Stop Diabetes. There are many ways to becoming involved by visiting Facebook, stopdiabetes.com, calling 1-800-DIABETES, or texting JOIN to 69866 (standard data and message rates apply).
Nearly 26 million children and adults have diabetes in the United States. An additional 79 million Americans are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $174 billion. Further published studies suggest that when additional costs for gestational diabetes, prediabetes and undiagnosed diabetes are included, the total diabetes-related costs in the U.S. could exceed $218 billion.
Diabetes is a serious disease. If it isn’t managed, it can damage many parts of the body, leading to heart attacks, strokes, amputation, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. But there is good news: diabetes complications can be prevented or delayed by properly managing blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Eating healthy, being physically active and quitting smoking also can help lower the risk of diabetes complications.