Sometimes an issue of Well-Being takes on a life of its own. When we are finalizing editorial content a pattern emerges that we never planned, but that somehow finds its way into the pages. This issue, we had already confirmed that Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi’s Health & Wellness Team would be contributing an article “Living Healthy with Diabetes,” in recognition of National Diabetes Awareness Month (November), when I received an unsolicited email from Becky Adams who serves on the board of the Mississippi Industries for the Blind (MIB) Foundation. Becky wrote to suggest that we do an article about eSight glasses, a revolutionary device that allows legally blind people to actually see. When she mentioned that MIB was celebrating its 75th year, my wheels really started turning.
The thing is, as of 2015, Mississippi was ranked #1 in the nation for overall incidence of diabetes. And, unchecked diabetes can lead to serious complications including lower extremity amputations, end stage renal disease, nerve damage, heart disease and blindness. We often think of diabetes as an individual disease, but the truth is, it is a complex condition that has devastating effects on the body that seriously compromise a person’s overall health and is a major cause of disability.
In this issue we have focused on several topics that are related directly or indirectly to diabetes, from advice on healthy lifestyle choices and nutrition to manage diabetes, to leg exercises for diabetics to help keep them active. We also featured Mississippi Industries for the Blind in our “Making a Difference in Mississippi” section and included an article about the miracle of eSight electronic eyewear, breakthrough technology the MIB Foundation is working hard to bring to more Mississippians.
Diabetes is treatable and often preventable. We encourage you, our readers to learn about your risk for developing type 2 diabetes and the steps you can take to delay or prevent the disease. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, take your healthcare provider’s directions seriously, eat a healthy diet designed to manage your blood sugar, check your blood glucose levels regularly and take any prescriptions as directed. The Mississippi Department of Health is an excellent source for information about managing and preventing diabetes.
Finally, if you or a loved one is suffering from diabetes or if you have lost someone to diabetes complications, consider making a contribution in their honor or memory to the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi (DFM). Every dollar raised by DFM stays in Mississippi to provide education, patient assistance, fund Camp Kandu (The state’s only diabetes camp for children with diabetes and their families), and other programs that promote awareness and action.