Raven Reaves Jackson | Contributing Writer
While November is known to some college students as GPA awareness month, it is also known to many as Diabetes Awareness month. Diabetes is a group of diseases in which the body either does not produce the right amount of insulin, does not produce any insulin or does not properly use the insulin that is produced. Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes are the three main types.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that occurs when your immune system attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in your pancreas.
Type 2 diabetes begins as an insulin resistance, so your body cannot take in insulin efficiently. Moreover, that only makes your pancreas produce more insulin, leading to high blood sugar.
Gestation diabetes occurs when insulin begins to block your hormones during pregnancy.
Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, dry/ itchy skin, blurry vision and excessive thirst and hunger.
The treatments of diabetes vary depending on which type you have. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin. Since the damage to the pancreas is permanent, patients must take insulin every day to live.
Type 2 diabetes is treated by managing the foods, exercises and medications that control your blood sugar.
“Diabetes affects the way you eat, your mood, and how active you are that day,” said journalism major India Anderson, who has Type 1 juvenile diabetes.
Although there is no way to prevent Type 1 diabetes, you can lower your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes in several ways. Avoid smoking. Exercise regularly. Control your weight and diet. These simple habits can prevent gestational diabetes.
“Diabetes does not define my life because if you take good care of your body, then you are unstoppable,” said Anderson.
According to the official website of the American Diabetes Association, in the African American community, “13.2 percent aged 20 years or older are diagnosed with diabetes. African Americans are also 1.7 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.”
One campus organization recently highlighted the significance of diabetes. The Gamma Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., hosted their 2nd Annual 5K Sweet Sweat Color Run on November 12, 2017.
The Color Run began at 9:30 a.m. At 10 o’clock, vendors arrived and music and games were set up. The additional festivities allowed the Hampton community to take part in the event even if they were not able to participate in the race.
The event was directed by Tia Westmoreland, a graduating senior from Raleigh, North Carolina.
“Diabetes awareness is important because it really affects people’s lives, and a lot of people do not know that it can lead to many other health issues down the line,” said Westmoreland.
The sorority also held a fundraising drive for donations. All proceeds collected went to the American Diabetes Association.