Sunday, July 12, 2009

Diabetic? Join in a major test-off!

Diabetes is a systemic disease that most people have heard off, but do not fully understand. It is currently supposed to be affecting 24 million people in the United States, and similar numbers of people across the world. Most people with diabetes don't even know they are affected by it.

Folks with Diabetes need to regularly test their blood. This can be a painful process, and believe it or not, an entire industry has sprung up to help ease the pain. While that may be true, many diabetics are reluctant to test their blood sugar, or in general, adjust to life with diabetes.

Tu diabetes and Es tu Diabetes represented by and it's Spanish counterpart
are websites run by the Diabetes Hand Foundation , whose founders and Social Entrepreneurs Manny Hernandez and Andreina Hernandez are very good friends of mine.

This excellent idea for the web communities was born because Manny, who is a diabetic himself, found a huge gap for people with diabetes to communicate with others easily online. This community now allows diabetics to discuss everything from the disease to medicine, policy to diets and recipes and a lot in between as well! These twin communities, in English and Spanish span vast memberships across the Americas and continue to grow every day.

On July 14, 2009, based on an incredible brain flash of one of the members of the community, Tu Diabetes is hoping to have 10,000 people test their sugar at the same time on a single day and report their sugar readings online.

What will this achieve?

It is very important for diabetics, their family members, colleagues and friends to understand the importance of checking blood sugar on a regular basis.

What advantages does checking blood sugar provide?

I am no medical professional, but let me lay out a few things as someone whose family has seen enough of diabetes:

Diabetes is an autoimmune disease which results either in over-production of insulin (known as Type 1) and limited production of insulin (Type 2) in the body. Insulin controls how much sugar is available in the blood. Sugar is necessary for all life activities and is essentially our fuel.

Imbalance of sugar regulation can lead to various issues. Low sugar can lead to loss of energy, and sometimes lead to a fit. High blood sugar causes it's own set of problems. The long term effects of diabetes can lead to obesity and cardiovascular risk, and has been linked to many disease conditions

Do not be alarmed!

If you get yourself diagnosed properly, and manage to check your blood sugar regularly and manage a healthy lifestyle, diabetes can be well managed, and you can lead a very long healthy life.

Thus, it is very important for school nurses, office personnel, the police, other community service professionals, near and dear ones, friends and even acquaintances to understand your needs as a diabetic.

Knowing your blood sugar levels - ideally, you should test yourself 4 times a day, can help you know and understand your highs and lows, and allow you to plan and adjust to your body's insulin propensity.

So, please go to today or tell someone you know!

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