Diabetes Alert Day 2008: Making it Ours

Today marks the 20th annual ADA national Diabetes Alert Day, a day set aside to spread the word about taking steps to prevent Type 2 diabetes. See this nice little article on all that, including risk factors and a quiz to help people identify early signs of metabolic syndrome.

D_alert_day_grassroots But every year, I ask myself: What can this day actually do for those of us already living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes? How can we make it our day, too?

So here’s my Diabetes-Alert-Day Challenge, a three-step procedure:

1) For those who already have diabetes, why not consider today “tell-a-friend day”? Talk to someone in your life about what it’s like to live with diabetes — ideally someone who doesn’t yet know the basics, like the difference between Type 1 and Type 2. If everybody “told two friends, and they told two friends,” we could do a lot towards eradicating ignorance.

2) Make a donation. I don’t care if it’s just $5 or $10. Maybe today is a good day to go to the JDRF site and show them that we still stand behind them, despite recent tribulations (a travel reimbursement scam). After all, it was they who identified the internal thievery themselves and ousted the guilty parties, without any outside intervention.

3) Do something “mentor-ish today — maybe sign up for Sanofi’s A1c champions program, or check out your local programs, like the one mentioned here in North Carolina. The idea is to help somebody new to this thing. (Diabetech recently illustrated what a difference mentoring can make — especially when augmented by technology — with its GlucoPALS program.)

Let me know what you’ve all done, and if you have any other ideas how we can “claim” this day to help our community, either this year or next.

btw, today seems like a good day for a few additional D-community public service announcements:

* Producers of dietary supplements that supposedly “cure your diabetes” have been taken to task. They are facing federal fraud charges for their bogus claims. Right on.

* Are you a female athlete with Type 1 diabetes? “The Sisterhood of Diabetes” Editor Judith Jones Ambrosini is expanding her latest essay “Sisterhood of Female Athletes” into a book. “If you would like to tell your personal story as a part of the collection, whose purpose is to inspire every young girl, teen, and woman with diabetes to live the life of their dreams,” please contact Judith HERE.

* Ever feel like your doctor is just “treating the numbers”? Is he or she just honing in on trying to get every patient’s test results into a certain target range, without fully understanding the health or life implications? Listen to this excellent NPR radio story on challenging that approach.

Happy D-Alerting today!

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7 Responses

  1. Kathy
    Kathy March 25, 2008 at 9:11 am | | Reply

    I made a small donation toward the Diabetes Clinical Trial (Dr. Faustman’s project). You can follow suit on the link here (www.faustmanlab.org). Even if it’s not “the cure”, it’s still something…

  2. Kerri.
    Kerri. March 25, 2008 at 11:48 am | | Reply

    I think it’s great to raise awareness – thanks for putting the type 1 spin on this type 2-focused day. :)

  3. Brian
    Brian March 25, 2008 at 12:57 pm | | Reply

    Just a quick reminder. ADA donates more money and services to people with Type 1 than JDRF does – and Diabetes Alert Day is their program after all.

  4. Melitta
    Melitta March 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm | | Reply

    Unfortunately, though, ADA does a lot that works against people with Type 1. ADA continues to promote the misconception that Type 1 is primarily a childhood disease, at most seen up to age 30. Amy and I can attest that that is not true, and ADA’s own scientific journals repeatedly document that the majority of newly diagnosed Type 1s are adults. Promoting this “childhood disease” misconception means that many people are misdiagnosed and given inappropriate substandard treatment. ADA doesn’t get any of my money as a result.

  5. DL
    DL March 25, 2008 at 2:47 pm | | Reply

    ADA does not constantly promote T1 as a juvenile disease. JDRF is the one that does that. ADA supports people of ALL ages with ALL types of diabetes. Granted, more T1 support is in the works and much needed, but ADA is not working against T1 in any way.

  6. Melitta
    Melitta March 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm | | Reply

    ADA does many things that are a grave disservice to Type 1 diabetics. ADA says that 90-95% of all cases of diabetes are Type 2, but in that number they include the 10-15% of all diabetics who have slow-onset Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes. If those with slow-onset Type 1 are included in the statistics for Type 1 diabetes, then Type 2 represents 75-85% of all diabetes. Then, ADA says Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults under age 30, when according to diabetes researchers including Jerry Palmer MD, the number of slow-onset Type 1 diabetes is three to four times that of rapid-onset in childhood (and that was published in one of ADA’s peer-reviewed scientific journals). By promoting this incorrect information about Type 1 diabetes, ADA does a terrible injustice to those with Type 1.

  7. Elinor
    Elinor March 25, 2008 at 5:27 pm | | Reply

    I made my contribution to
    JDRF.

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