Diabetes Awareness Month focuses on prevention, recognizing symptoms

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It is Diabetes Awareness Month, a time for bringing attention to diabetes as well as offering ways to get educated and become involved. This November the focus is on prediabetes and how to prevent it.

The majority of people don’t know they have diabetes, so recognizing the signs and the symptoms can make all the difference.

“The general symptoms that I kind of noticed after the fact, was I was just tired,” Type 1 diabetic and BYU student Michael Evans said.

“I’m having to go pee all the time and just blurred vision,” BYU student Benjamin Birchall said.

Signs and symptoms can vary from excessive thirst, blurred vision, frequent urination, fatigue and even having breath that smells fruity.

“When my blood sugar drops low I have to like, I just have to drink Gatorade or eat some candy or something to help it go up. You just know you’re like different,” BYU student Sammie Osborne said.

“It really changed everything. It made it that even just going and grabbing a quick little snack like I need to know the carbohydrates,” Birchall said.

According to the CDC, Type 1 diabetes usually starts when you are a child, teen or young adult. Type 2 diabetes when you’re an adult although symptoms can take time to develop.

“I have Type 1 diabetes, so that’s the permanent kind where your pancreas fully goes out,” Birchall said.

“I was diagnosed in 2011, so I was 11 years old,” Osborne said.

According to these students, life goes on with only minor changes.

“Being able to identify it and work with it and learn more about it and kind of take responsibility for it was kind of freeing in a sense,” Evans said.

“You’re able to completely live a great life as long as you keep your levels in check and it’s really just being meticulous with that,” Birchall said.

Small lifestyle changes can be the best way to prevent Type 2 diabetes and reverse prediabetes. For more information visit the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website.

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