National Diabetes Awareness Month


Mayra Cruz Santiago

A plate with different types of fruit like pineapples, apples and olives. This fruit plate was made as a healthy alternative snack.

Mayra Cruz Santiago, Staff Writer

It is November which means it’s National Diabetes Awareness month. Did you know that 34.2 million Americans have diabetes? Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects how the body makes insulin. Insulin helps sugars in the body reach into our cells to make energy.

Anyone can become a diabetic. There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body attacks itself by mistake and can’t make the insulin a person needs. Type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn’t use insulin well and cannot regulate blood sugar levels. People who are overweight, less physically active, 45 years or older, ect.. have a higher chance of getting Type 2 diabetes. Anyone with a family history of Type 1 diabetes has a higher chance of getting Type 1 diabetes compared to people who don’t have a family history of it.

“I am a Type 1 diabetic.” said Jacob Chesher, a student at Grand Ledge High school. “I manage it with an insulin pump that makes it very easy for me. I just have to type in how many carbohydrates I eat whenever I do eat.”

It is easier to determine side effects in Type 1 diabetes than Type 2. Some visible side effects are but are not limited to, blurry eyesight, frequent urination, dry skin, sores that heal slowly, weight loss without trying, and fatigue.

There is no proven cure to Type 1 diabetes, but there are ways to manage it. People have to have insulin inside their bodies, but people with Type 1 can’t make it. People with that problem either inject insulin into their bodies or use a pump to get it in their system. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes can be reversed. This is done by a healthy lifestyle. Two important aspects of this healthy lifestyle is frequent exercise and a healthy diet. Eating healthy fruits like pineapple, strawberries, bananas, ect.. rather than eating saturated fats which can cause insulin resistance can help. Many with Type 2 diabetes have to get insulin from an outside source like people with Type 1 diabetes too. 

There are an abundance of benefits to knowing more about diabetes like Type 1 and Type 2. Knowing this, you can notice the signs and know how to prevent or delay Type 2.  The more people know the more you can help those around you.

“More people should be aware of how it works and what someone might need.” It can be awkward explaining my problems to some people and why I need something. Plus if people know and I have an emergency they could help.” said Chesher.