We got some more first hand experiences from Matt, and learned more about where to turn when diagnosed with diabetes.
He also shared with us some great tips on how to be supportive of someone you care about who is diabetic, and how to get involved.
You were diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, what are some good ways to support kids who are facing this diagnosis.
When I was diagnosed my family changed some of their dietary habits to support me in my new lifestyle change.
This helped me gain some discipline early on in my diagnosis that I still turn back to today.
There are also some awesome opportunities through the ADA for kids or volunteers to partake in initiatives like Project Power or Imagine Camp.
This will allow kids with diabetes to meet others just like them and be educated through a fun environment.
What are some of the symptoms people with diabetes experience?
I’ll never forget the symptoms leading to my diagnosis: extreme fatigue, weight loss, frequent urination, and excessive thirst.
These are symptoms of high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, that diabetics will experience due to lack of insulin production from the pancreas.
If someone is pre-diabetic, can changes to their lifestyle get them out of this danger zone, and prevent them from becoming diabetic?
Yes – change in diet and exercise can steer someone back in the right direction and prevent a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Some situations can be more complex than others; however, so I would certainly recommend discussing with a medical professional for best options moving forward.
What is the new health inequities initiative that is currently being focused on by the American Diabetes Association?
The new ADA CEO, Tracey Brown, introduced “Health Equity Now” in 2020 to focus efforts in advocacy to ensure all people, especially people of color and others in underprivileged communities, have the same access to care as any other family.
This includes targeting the cost of medical supplies, guidance and access to proper foods to eat, and ensuring research accounts for the needs in people of color.
You can learn more about this initiative and the “Health Equity Bill of Rights” here: https://www.diabetes.org/healthequitynow
What is the best way for people to get involved?
Get involved with the ADA! There are so many opportunities to support this incredible organization whether it’s volunteering at local events, donating and/or fundraising for a cure, or chairing/serving on one of their subcommittees.
Tour de Cure, ADA’s premier cycling event, is happening now through May 1st!
You can participate virtually by walking, running, and of course cycling! Get more information or sign up at diabetes.org/virginiatdc
We are also recruiting the future leaders of America to join ADA’s Young Professional Leadership Council.
This is a great volunteer opportunity for recent grads to expand their professional development and take part in initiatives developed by the Council in partnership with the ADA.
You can also become an advocate for diabetes and take part in initiatives like Call to Congress or signing petitions to lower insulin costs.
I could go on, but bottom line, there is something for everyone to get involved and we’d love to work with you!
You can reach out to our local ADA office or visit the ADA site for more information.
For volunteer/committee opportunities, please email Marianne Collins at email@example.com
For More Information:
Looking for some tips on diabetic friendly recipes? Watch what happened when LeAnne Rains Benedetto joined Karen in the Cooking From the Heart kitchen. Click here: cooking-from-the-heart/healthy-recipes-for-diabetes/