The Children’s Diabetes Foundation is spreading awareness and making diabetes visible in the community with blue shirts to get people to ask, “Why is the world turning blue?” The shirts are a conversation starter so people who have a connection to diabetes can educate the public.
This education and awareness campaign is happening throughout the month of November, which is Diabetes Awareness Month. This awareness is greatly needed because diabetes is a disease that is talked about a lot, but often misunderstood.
The Children’s Diabetes Foundation (CDF) aims to debunk myths about diabetes, type 1 in particular. Type 1 is often confused with type 2 diabetes, but they are very different diseases. Type 1 diabetes (which used to be called childhood or juvenile diabetes) is an entirely different disease than what you may expect:
Type 1 diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar or not exercising
Type 1 diabetes can not be cured by diet or exercise
People with type 1 diabetes can eat sugar
Diabetes (all types) is not contagious and can be diagnosed at any age
Currently over 1.25 million Americans live with type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease. This means the person could not have done anything to change or prevent the diagnosis. People with type 1 do not produce insulin, which converts food into energy. Therefore, they must manually control the amount of sugar in their blood by injecting insulin multiple times, every day.
Type 1 diabetes used to be called childhood or juvenile diabetes. This changed years ago because doctors and researchers have learned that a diagnosis can occur at any age, from infants to seniors. In fact, fifty percent of those diagnosed today are over 18 years old. Catching a type 1 diabetes diagnosis early can be the difference between life and death. Be on the lookout for these symptoms for people of any age:
Type 1s must give themselves needles multiple times a day just to stay alive. Insulin pumps and medical devices are worn all day, every day to help regulate blood sugars, but there is always a risk of injecting too much or too little insulin. Type 1s need insulin when they eat or their blood sugar is high and must eat when blood sugars drop too low. It may sound simple, but many factors such as stress, hormones, sleep, emotions, exercise, nutritional food makeup (fats, fibers, sugars, etc.), sickness, other medications, and more change how the body utilizes insulin, making it an imperfect science.
To purchase a blue shirt to spread diabetes awareness or learn more about diabetes, visit ChildrensDiabetesFoundation.org/blue-world.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and the Children’s Diabetes Foundation would love your help to spread awareness about Type 1 diabetes. Consider donating to the Children’s Diabetes Foundation on Dec. 4 for Colorado Gives Day at coloradogives.org/CDF.
To learn more and help the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center complete their mission of improving life for families affected by type 1 diabetes, visit ChildrensDiabetesFoundation.org or call 303.628.5106.
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