May 6, 2013
Oh, Say Can You See Healthy Vision Month
Things relating to diabetes are really being promoted during May. Why more was not done to promote for April is disappointing since it was Limb Loss Awareness Month. This is not on the April list, but Foot Health Awareness Month is included. Yes, the American Diabetes Association had something on their website, but promoted it was not. Amputations are one of the more serious problems for people with diabetes. On April 29, Diabetes Mine published a blog by Michael Hoskins on diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy can be a warning to take good care of your feet and that this can be a precursor to foot problems leading to amputation.
Now that it is May, Healthy Vision Month, the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health made sure that this is promoted. At least another serious complication, diabetes retinopathy, is getting attention along with other eyes diseases. Approximately 38 million Americans over age 40 have glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, or cataracts. That number is projected to rise to 56 million by the year 2030. The NEI, “Calls on Americans to make their vision a priority by taking the necessary steps to protect vision, prevent vision loss, and make the most of the vision they may have remaining.”
The Joslin Diabetes Center started May with their campaign for National Fitness and Exercise Month in the May 1 blog, and continued with another blog on May 2 and May 3. Apparently this is a Joslin only event and the month is officially recognized as National Physical Fitness and Sports month. Joslin states that exercise has many potential benefits for people with diabetes. The blog emphasizes that, “It can lower blood glucose, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, mood and posture, strengthen your muscles and bones, reduce stress and anxiety, and make you sleep better. But before you get out there remember to track your blood glucose before, during, and after exercise.”
And May is National Bike Month for those that are able to ride. They have a Bike to Work Week May 13-17 and a Bike to Work Day on May 17. The children also get to have their day in a Bike to School Day on May 8. The website has many useful promotions and even a bike month guide. Even if you don't ride a lot, their Ride Better page details the Rules of the Road and commuting tips. Read and follow the rules when bicycling. This is a form of exercise that can be enjoyed by many people with diabetes.
May is also the 50-year anniversary of Older Americans Month. Hooray for our seniors! This year the title of the celebration is “Unleash the Power of Age.” This is to acknowledge older Americans' special abilities and know-how, and encourage them to share these talents. It is unfortunate that the President is cutting funding for the majority of programs that affect seniors and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is enforcing healthcare rationing on the members of the senior community. Therefore what HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says in her statement seems less than sincere.
This blog started out with only one item from April and one for May. It has grown as more items needed exposure. I appreciate that many different sources have their favorite, but why don't we use this source for each month and remember them all. This event also needs recognition - National High Blood Pressure Education Month. The people at Diabetes Self-Management blog have a write-up on this.