I would think this time of year is especially difficult for the 24 million people in this country who have diabetes. That is more than likely why the American Diabetes Association chose to declare November as their Diabetes Awareness month with Bret Michaels, the lead vocalist for glam metal band Poison, and winner of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, whose also had type 1 diabetes since childhood, as their spokesperson.

Did you know “1 out of every 3 children (and 1 in 2 minority children) born in the United States today will face a future with diabetes if current trends continue?” I nearly cried when a mother posted on my blog about how sad her daughter is when she can’t have any of the treats due to her type 1 diabetes on Halloween. I’d never thought about that before, and I will definitely be stocking non-sweet treats (little party favors would work great here) next year. It’s so much more thoughtful of the children with diabetes and various food allergies, plus I think it is a win/win in the fight against rapidly growing childhood obesity rates. That can’t be a bad thing either.
As if Halloween wasn’t tricky enough to deal with, now there is a whole party season laced with fatty, sugary food mines to navigate ahead. Diet plays a huge role in managing the disease and avoiding the very serious, even deadly complications that are associated with it – the American Diabetes Association is a great source of information for what you can eat, how much, and when. I also wanted to point you all in the direction of some great traditional Thanksgiving sides modified by Robyn Webb, so the diabetic in your household can enjoy the holiday safely and guilt free.
There are so many fun and wonderful ways you can get involved and make a difference in the fight against diabetes. Right now there is a 30 second video competition to tell “why you want to stop diabetes,” and three entries will win an iPad! If you donate by November 15th, a vision care company (loss of vision is a common complication of the disease) will triple your donations, or you can dress in blue on November 14th. You can share on facebook and twitter, or you can even “shop to stop diabetes.” How will you help stop diabetes?
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  • November 7, 2010
    8:50 pm

    I may not be american but my Dad has diabetes but not stage 1, its only been in the past 5 years and he finds it very hard to control. Thanks for highlighting this disease

  • November 7, 2010
    9:27 pm

    Thank you Jewels for this post, I love you for it! My biggest frustration is the complacent attitude many people have about this disease. Manageable is not the same as curable and even with proper diet, exercise and regular-multiple insulin injections people still die due to complications from this disease and are also susceptible to blindness, kidney failure and limb amputation. Currently my daughter's BG levels are running high due to her little body going thru puberty (hormones raging= raises in blood sugars!) so we are constantly chasing blood sugar highs with added insulin doses. Everyday my little girl fights for her life, yes FIGHTS and she has had to grow up a lot faster then most kids her age (she is 11) as well as being in a single-parent family which already added years of maturity to her but on the positive side she loves to read (only time she got in trouble at school was for reading her book during class haha- I can live with that "trouble") loves all my 80s music-Ramones, Duran Duran, Blondie, B-52s and is always thinking about how she can help other people.Please keep Micaleh and I in prayer there are days we do not have the energy to fight and unfortunately this disease NEVER takes a remission or a day off.

  • November 8, 2010
    12:05 am

    Your post is so timely! With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it would be nice to set some family traditions that don't involve food. Maybe a day working at a food bank, joining a choral group to sing at nursing homes, even just going yourself to a nursing home to visit someone who normally has no visitors. The gift of your time is so much better than making a holiday all about the food. But when you do have friends over, do take into account that there may be some who cannot indulge in alcohol or many calorie laden dishes. If your guest nicely asks for just water or a diet soda, respect their wishes and don't make a fuss that they don't want to try your wonderful eggnog or tray of calorie laden goodies. Try to have a platter of crudites and hummus for the ever increasing number of people who have dietary restrictions. Party food can be healthy food, it's the group of people gathering together that make the party. They will enjoy some healthy alternatives that just might make holiday parties change for the better.

  • November 8, 2010
    11:58 am

    Thank you for posting this Julie Anne. Diabetes and Hypoglycemia runs in my family (both sides) and inevitably I will get it. I am 41 and I've already been tested once due to a rash that wouldn't go away. The doctor just looked me up and down and assumed because I'm heavy that I have diabetes. Little did she know my situation but I did all the tests anyway and it all came back negative. My mother didn't get it until her 50's but my diet is much better than hers was and I exercise more. So I'm hoping that I'll be able to stave it off longer by taking care of myself better. I don't do any of the holiday baking my mother did. I don't have any children so no excuses to do it. I do try to keep it all in check.

  • November 8, 2010
    3:53 pm

    Of course you do not need to be American Little Amanda, but maybe you will read something here or on the American Diabetes Association's site that can help your father stabilize his situation. This is the page you may want to ask him to read http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/?utm_source=WWW&utm_medium=GlobalNavLWD&utm_campaign=CON, and be sure to click through to the bits that interest him. The more knowledgable you are, the more support you can be with him too.

  • November 8, 2010
    4:08 pm

    I'm writing separately to each of you, because you have been so honest and have obviously found this a safe place to open up.audioslavegirl – I can not begin to imagine how you have worried, and hurt for your daughter all these years, but I can hear it in your writing. I find it especially sad when it strikes children and robs them of so many simple childhood pleasures. You know so much more about the disease than I do having dealt with it every day of your lives together, and yes, you are sooooooo right that we still need to work towards finding a cure.The fact sheet alone is frightening – 24 million people in the US have diabetes, 57 million more are pre-diabetes, and 1 out of every 3 children (1 out of ever 2 in minority households) will develop diabetes if our ways do not change. BUT it is the human face you put on the disease that is so important – your eloquent, passionate, and speak from your heart. You make this terrible situation real for those of us that have not had to deal with it in our lives. You should find every blog that mentions diabetes awareness month, and leave comment, because your comments are so powerful and need to be heard!

  • November 8, 2010
    5:33 pm

    LA Unified just turned down Jamie Oliver! http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/11/jamie-oliver-rejected-los-angeles.htmlCat Lincoln

  • November 8, 2010
    5:33 pm

    Shut the back door! What are they afraid of? Getting healthier?

  • November 8, 2010
    5:34 pm

    I'm borderline diabetic – and i was shocked but with diet you can absolutely control it…i HOPE!!!Doreen D'Agostino

  • November 8, 2010
    5:41 pm

    shigatsuhana – so happy your tests came back negative. I hope your healthier lifestyle will break that family tradition! I think Ruthee makes an excellent point too – why do the holidays have to be ALL about food? Now food is my business, so I'm never going to say – skip it entirely, especially since I feel that time sat around the dinner table as a family is a very important way of connecting, just keep the food a little healthier than past traditions, and find other ways to bond as well.

  • November 8, 2010
    5:52 pm

    and this is why I pack my daughter's lunch everyday!Penelope Worley

  • November 8, 2010
    6:00 pm

    November is American Diabetes Month, a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control. For the past 20 years, diabetes rates have been increasing rapidly and it is quickly becoming America’s new health epidemic. It is listed as the 7th leading cause of death in the US and over 24 million Americans have the disease. Another alarming statistic is that of those 24 million, 6 million Americans have diabetes and don’t know it. As the prevalence of diabetes cases continues to rise, it is critical to become educated and raise awareness of this deadly disease. It’s easy to have a role in the fight against diabetes; here’s how:Get tested! Don’t think you have diabetes? Find out! If you visit www.personalabs.com, you can order a Comprehensive Diabetes Profile for only $85, which screens your blood level for elevated blood sugar and other conditions associated with diabetes. Not only can this profile be used to determine if you have diabetes, but it can also be used to monitor your diabetic condition. Already diagnosed with diabetes? Then take control of your health and monitor your condition! You can order a Complete Diabetic Profile for only $199 at personalabs.com. This panel is used as a routine follow-up survey of your diabetic condition. It includes the most common follow-up tests used to evaluate control of your disease as well as some associated condition. This test will help you and your healthcare provider know if any changes in lifestyle activities and/or medications are needed.You can also monitor your blood sugar levels by ordering a Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) several times throughout the year. This test shows how well you’ve controlled your blood sugar during the preceding 3 month period and costs only $25.Find out why the HbA1c test is so important for people with diabetes: http://diabetes.webmd.com/guide/glycated-hemoglobin-test-hba1cFor American Diabetes Month, be proactive and take control of your health! Go to www.personalabs.com to order your blood tests. **Make sure to use discount code LAB4NF to save money on your order!**

  • November 8, 2010
    6:05 pm

    Thank you JulieAnne,I am very disappointed about Jamie Oliver since we are part of Los Angeles county. Another place of concern is the school systems. I have had to go up against school district etc. in order to make sure when my daughter is at school she is safe and can get care when she is there but often school officials are so worried about liability that they would rather keep a "hands off" stance then jump in if my daughter needs help. Compounded with the fact that due to education budget cuts schools only get a nurse based on population numbers not NEED so last year at her elementary school in Long Beach, there was only a nurse there once every other week…really?? This year she is in middle school & there is a nurse there 2x a week & she comes at lunch to supervise my daughter's self-injections so I am thankful for that! As far as school lunches go most school districts have a special meal plan request if your child has medical issues however my daughter still doesn't like the food there and I can't blame her, I wouldn't want to eat it either! So I pack her lunch everyday with a list of the foods, how many carbs are in each item, the total carbs and how much insulin she needs to cover the food. As far as the other comments here, the good news is that type 2 can be reversed if caught in time! I know of people who have done so! I don't want you or others to think I am having a "poor me" attitude I am grateful for the advancement in insulin technologies etc and my daughter can occasionally have a slice of cake or scoop of ice cream (which is better since it has a little protein in it too) as long as it's "covered" with insulin shot. Also JDRF is a great resource for parents and children with diabetes. They are worldwide too! Penelope 🙂

  • November 8, 2010
    6:40 pm

    Nicole, that is such great information – thank you! Penelope – I am seeing red, I am so upset over the whole Jamie Oliver thing. I think all of us in the LA school district should let our disagreement be known. Call, demand an explanation, and let your dissatisfaction be known.I feel your frustration with the schools not even offering the safety of a nurse on duty when they have students (I'm sure your daughter is not the only one) with serious health issues that need to be monitored. The "hands off" stance seems like discrimination, and I would be roar pretty loud over that.

  • November 9, 2010
    5:19 am

    Money issue I'm sure. They do not care to spend it on this.Milly Rosario-Summers

  • November 9, 2010
    5:20 am

    They want to blame everyone else for their children's problems (as they do with gaming, computer, etc) and what better way than to turn down something offered by someone wanting to make a change. My opinion.Carly Guerrero

  • November 9, 2010
    5:21 am

    Jamie Oliver tries his best to work within the school budget! He know's that would be an obstacle otherwise.

  • November 9, 2010
    5:22 am

    Wow! I don't get it! Why turn down help? Of ANY kind?Nique Quesada

  • November 9, 2010
    5:23 am

    Diabetes scares me I was insulin dependent during some of my pregnancies, not anymore but I have a great chance of getting it @ anytime. Scary but thank goodness I know how to deal w/ it if I do get it for good…..Carly Guerrero

  • November 9, 2010
    4:21 pm

    I am so glad she is feeling better and well enough to return to work. I hope they catch the creep who hit her quickly. {{hugs}}Michelle Gordon Noon

  • September 24, 2013
    1:58 am

    Coming up on my 3rd year since diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Mine is the result of a nasty bout of pancreatitis. Having recently graduated from nursing school, I know what my diet should look like…however, it does not always look like it should. I will admit that there are times when I just want to avoid the holidays because the overabundance of food is too tempting. Not the healthiest food for a diabetic, so I stick to turkey and a honey wheat roll. This year though, I am seriously thinking about trying a recipe or two out and taking them to my aunt’s house for the holidays. I figure, if I can eat healthy at the holidays then so can they. Thanks for the awesome recipes!

    Lina

  • September 24, 2013
    8:02 am

    Hi Lina!

    You might just surprise yourself in how good those recipes can taste too – you won’t even miss the tempting ones. I’m going to start a post about this in the forum, and maybe as a community we can help you find the yummilicious ones fast – I know Penelope has quite a few.

    J xo

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