Diabetes Awareness Month 2017

The following infographic and article come to us from our friends at North County Health Services (NCHS) who provide health services to residents of North County San Diego and Riverside County in California. I thought this would be a perfect way to kick off Diabetes Awareness Month.

Diabetes Awareness Infographic

Diabetes Awareness

Diabetes affects the body’s ability to use or produce insulin properly, leading to unregulated blood sugar levels that may result in severe sickness, medical complications, or death. Type 1 diabetes is more common in children, while type 2 diabetes is more common in adults. However, both stem from a lack of effective insulin (either because it isn’t produced or it simply isn’t used properly) and result in sugar buildup in the blood.

Diabetes affects nearly 10% of Americans. Approximately 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. It is the 7th leading cause of death in the US and is also commonly considered an underlying or contributing cause of death (Source: diabetes.org).

Risk Factors

Some risk factors of diabetes are unavoidable, such as having a family history of diabetes and growing older. But living a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight, and having unhealthy eating habits are all risk factors that individuals can control. Oftentimes, making changes in your activity level, weight, and food consumption can significantly reduce your risk of acquiring diabetes.

How Diabetes Affects the Body

As with any disease, diabetes affects everyone differently. Some people may find it easy to manage and control their blood sugar levels. Others will struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle and will have to live with the debilitating effects of the disease. Anxiety, strokes, heart attacks, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, eye disease and/or blindness, kidney disease, and lower limb amputation are some common complications that those with diabetes may face.

Management and Prevention

The key to diabetes management is blood sugar awareness. You can maintain a healthy blood sugar level by monitoring your blood sugar closely and by adhering to a healthy diet.

  • Increase the amount of vegetables, fruits, lean meats (fish, chicken, turkey), beans and peas you eat.
  • Decrease the amount of saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, trans fat, and sugar you consume.
  • Look for food high in fiber.
  • Commit to an exercise program that keeps you active for at least 30 minutes each day.


  1. Charlie Panhuyzen says

    You infographic shows the risk factors for all types of diabetes together. This does not create awareness, it maintains the harmful stereotype that Diabetes type 1 must be due to your lifestyle choices. I suggest that you label it ‘risk factors for type 2’ and ‘risk factors for type 1’.
    Or better yet, stop listing risk factors! I don’t see any immediate use, apart from the warning they give to type 2-ers that they should loose weight and exercise. So please mention that instead: ‘loosing weight and exercising decreases the risk that you get type 2 diabetes’.
    It would also be much better to list symptoms so that the many people who have diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, learn about it early and can do something about it (and in the case of type 1, save themselves from organ damage and/or getting into a coma).

  2. Shelby Kinnaird says

    Charlie – Thank you so much for your comments. I will pass them along to the folks at NCHS who created the graphic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *