November 2014 is American Diabetes Month

While most of us associate November with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, it's important to recognize that there is actually much more going on over the course of these 30 days, including an important initiative concerning a disabling condition affecting millions of Americans.

The initiative in question is American Diabetes Month, a program run by the American Diabetes Association that is designed to both promote understanding and help encourage those diagnosed with the condition stay healthy.  

In keeping with this theme of raising awareness, here are a few eye-opening statistics outlining just how much of a problem diabetes currently is here in the U.S.:

  • As many as 30 million children and adults are currently diagnosed with diabetes, while another 86 million have prediabetes and are considered to be at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes is the cause of almost 50 percent of all kidney failure cases, and doubles the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • The total national cost of diagnosed diabetes is estimated by the American Diabetes Association to be close to $245 billion.

In recognition of the extent of this problem and the growing number of people at risk of developing diabetes, this year's campaign will focus on empowering people to not only eat healthy, but also cook healthy.

To that end, the American Diabetes Association will be sharing healthy cooking tips, recipe ideas and nutrition facts every week, while also encouraging participation in signature events.  

It's truly encouraging to see these efforts underway given the staggering numbers above and the impact that diabetes -- especially when undiagnosed and untreated -- can have on a person's health.

In the meantime, it's important for those whose lives have been forever altered bydiabetes in that the condition has prevented them from being able to work despite their best efforts to remember that they do have options for making ends meet. For example, an experienced legal professional can help them explore their options for securing Social Security disability benefits.

Source: American Diabetes Association, "American Diabetes Month 2014 overview," November 2014