National Diabetes Awareness Month


Photo courtesy of Lily Adelman

 November is National diabetes awareness month. According to the American Diabetes Association, “National diabetes month is a chance to show the world what life with diabetes is really like and provide ways to manage it.”

Type one diabetes is a chronic condition, where the pancreas produces little to no insulin. It is important to know the difference between type one and type 2 diabetes.

According to a pediatric diabetes association,“The body produces insulin, but the cells don’t respond to insulin the way they should. This is called insulin resistance.”

 “Type 2 diabetes is more likely to occur in people who are over the age of 40, overweight, and have a family history of diabetes”. 

Chagrin Falls teacher Mrs. Salyers was diagnosed at age 40. Mrs. Salyers has been helpful throughout the district and diabetic community. 

“Connecting with other diabetics is helpful because they are the only people who truly understand the disease,” Salyers said.

 She volunteered at a diabetes camp, called Camp Ho Mita Koda, and has taught many type one students, providing them with helpful information. According to Diabetic “burnout” is a term used when describing.

“Feeling discouraged and frustrated, you may slip into unhealthy habits, stop monitoring your blood sugar, or even skip doctor’s appointments”.

“I feel like every single diabetic has to have experienced diabetic burnout since diabetes is a disease that doesn’t sleep and impacts you 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” Salyers said.

Freshman Owen Adelman is another type one diabetic In the Chagrin district, he was diagnosed on July first of 2018.

 “Having diabetes for this long has really taught me that things get better over time.When I first got diagnosed it was definitely an adjustment, but I had people that supported me,”Adelman said.

 Support is very important when dealing with chronic illness. Freshman Jackson Orazen is well informed on the disease and supports Owen in and out of school. 

“I support my diabetic friend by helping him monitor his  blood sugar and making sure he is okay. I am connected to Owens dexcom, so if there is an emergency, or when he is not in range I will be notified,” Orazen said.

 Freshman Conor O’Brien was recently diagnosed in May of 2021, and  has adjusted very quickly and efficiently.

 “I am well supported by my friends and family. They are connected to my dexcom so they can constantly check my blood sugar making sure I’m okay,” O’Brien said.

 Managing diabetes as early as possible is important, and recognizing symptoms early is very beneficial. Symptoms can appear suddenly, The  Mayo clinic says they may include, Feeling more thirsty than usual, Urinating a lot, Feeling very hungry, Losing weight without trying, Feeling irritable or having other mood changes, Feeling tired and weak, and Having blurry vision.