November celebrates Diabetes Awareness Month, and this year the American Diabetes Association has taken a great stride forward by making this year’s theme “Stop Diabetes.”

Every year there is an estimated 1.6 million new cases of diabetes in children and adults. The latest CDC statistics (2007) estimate that 24 million American children and adults have diabetes and 57 million children and adults are at risk of developing diabetes. Current trends indicate that 1 out of 3 children born in the USA will have diabetes if we do not “Stop Diabetes.”

Even though diabetes can develop due to genetics and age, the current trends indicate the greatest cause of diabetes in our children, youth, and young adults is obesity. Take a stand and fight to help prevent diabetes through lifestyle modifications. Encourage your friends and family to start exercise programs that include walking, bike riding, going to the gym, etc. Focus on healthier eating habits like adding whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low fat proteins, and plenty of water to your daily diet. Make it a family routine, where everyone young and old participates to become healthier, stronger, and leaner.

Starting November 2, 2010, the American Diabetes Association welcomes everyone to share stories or ideas on how to “Stop Diabetes” by logging on to stopdiabetes.com or communicating through Facebook and Twitter. We also encourage you to become part of our two local diabetes associations: American Diabetes Association and Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association.

We all need to help “Stop Diabetes” because it is a serious medical condition that can cause grave complications like blindness, kidney failure, amputations and heart disease.

Happy Anniversary Healthy Valley!

Sandra Trevino, FNP, CDE
Marcel Twahirwa, MD

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