November is Diabetes Awareness Month — But why does it matter?
Here’s how you can show your support for the millions of Americans living with diabetes
Think about a world in which no one speaks openly about their health challenges. There would be no education, no awareness, no medical breakthroughs — but millions of individuals dealing with medical issues with nowhere to turn. Fortunately, that’s not the world in which we live. Today, those with diseases like diabetes have many places to go for help, and that’s one reason why Diabetes Awareness Month is so important.
Each November, people across the country come together to rally around those impacted by diabetes. From in-person events and fundraisers to social media campaigns, Diabetes Awareness Month is all about shedding light on what it’s like to live with diabetes, promoting healthy living, sharing research progress, and ensuring anyone with diabetes knows that they have support.
Diabetes statistics: Know the facts
From the number of people who have it to its economic burden, the data surrounding diabetes might seem grim — which is why spreading awareness and increasing education about the disease is key to creating better outcomes.
- More than 37 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. That’s more than 10% of the U.S. population.
- Nearly 2 million Americans live with type 1 diabetes, including 244,000 children and adolescents. While type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented, ensuring those who have it can access healthcare and medications is critical to living a healthy life.
- Diabetes is the most expensive chronic condition in the U.S., with $1 out of every $4 U.S. healthcare dollars spent on caring for people with the disease, and the total economic cost of diabetes increased 60% between 2007 and 2017.
Type 1 vs. type 2 diabetes
There are two kinds of diabetes: type 1 (less common) and type 2 (more common). Here’s how they’re different:
- Type 1 diabetes might be caused by an autoimmune reaction that destroys cells in the pancreas responsible for making insulin. This type of diabetes can be genetic, and it’s not likely to be caused by diet or lifestyle.
- In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, and your body can’t use energy from food properly. This type of diabetes can be caused by obesity, lack of exercise and genetics — and, in many cases, can be prevented.
National Diabetes Month activities
Whether you have diabetes or you’re supporting a family member or friend with the disease, there are many ways to help raise diabetes awareness this November:
- Donate to an organization like the American Diabetes Association® or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
- Find a local event through your community or support group, or volunteer your time
- Get involved in American Diabetes Month® activities beginning November 1
- Post on social media using relevant hashtags like #diabetesawarenessmonth, #worlddiabetesday, #americandiabetesmonth and #forwardas1
- Participate in a World Diabetes Day activity on November 14
- Make positive changes to your diabetes management plan
- Share your story with JDRF (email@example.com) to get featured on their social channels
- Encourage your workplace or school to host a lunch & learn about diabetes
You can also simply take the time to talk to someone you know with diabetes — ask them how they’re handling the disease, if they need any help managing it or finding resources, or what it’s like to live with it every day. Showing that you care can make a huge difference.
United in hope for a better future
At Xeris Pharmaceuticals®, we’re committed to finding ways to support the diabetes community. This year, we’re donating diabetes products to more than 30 summer camps, donating more than 5,800 Gvoke® Pre-Filled Syringes (glucagon injection) to Americans, and sponsoring the ADA States of Diabetes event on November 11. This event will help raise the level of consciousness around health equity for millions of Americans with diabetes and pre-diabetes, and those at risk.
The diabetes community is relentless in its efforts to treat diabetes, rally around those who have the disease and bring more innovative treatments to market — like Gvoke HypoPen® (glucagon injection), a two-step, premixed autoinjector for very low blood sugar. There are scientists and researchers across the country who are hard at work finding breakthroughs, like the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, which is using stem cells to treat type 1 diabetes patients. Every effort, no matter how small, is paving the way for a brighter future for people living with diabetes.
Meet Gvoke HypoPen
Gvoke HypoPen is the ready-to-use rescue pen anyone can administer with confidence1
- In a study with simulated emergency conditions, 99% of people used it correctly1
- Simple to administer at a moment’s notice, like an epinephrine autoinjector for severe allergic reactions
- You can even self-administer it in certain situations2
- Can be administered to the outer upper arm, lower abdomen or outer thigh3
- Brings very low blood sugar back up quickly and safely3†
†In two clinical studies in adults, blood sugar levels that were less than 50 mg/dL increased to above 70 mg/dL or increased by at least 20 mg/dL within 13.8 minutes on average.
- Valentine V, Newswanger B, Prestrelski S, Andre AD, Garibaldi M. Human factors usability and validation studies of a glucagon autoinjector in a simulated severe hypoglycemia rescue situation. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2019;21(9):522-530.
- Gvoke HypoPen [instructions for use]. Chicago, IL: Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc; 2023.
- Gvoke [prescribing information]. Chicago, IL: Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc; 2023.
INDICATION AND SAFETY SUMMARY
GVOKE is a prescription medicine used to treat very low blood sugar (severe hypoglycemia) in adults and kids with diabetes ages 2 years and above. It is not known if GVOKE is safe and effective in children under 2 years of age.
Do not use GVOKE if:
- you have a tumor in the gland on top of your kidneys (adrenal gland), called a pheochromocytoma.
- you have a tumor in your pancreas called an insulinoma.
- you are allergic to glucagon or any other inactive ingredient in GVOKE.
GVOKE MAY CAUSE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS, INCLUDING:
High blood pressure
GVOKE can cause high blood pressure in certain people with tumors in their adrenal glands.
Low blood sugar
GVOKE can cause low blood sugar in certain people with tumors in their pancreas called insulinomas by making too much insulin in their bodies.
Serious allergic reaction
Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you have a serious allergic reaction including:
- difficulty breathing
- low blood pressure
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS
The most common side effects of GVOKE in adults include:
- swelling at the injection site
The most common side effects of GVOKE in children include:
- low blood sugar
- high blood sugar
- abdominal pain
- pain or redness at the injection site
These are not all the possible side effects of GVOKE. For more information, ask your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before using GVOKE, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you:
- have adrenal gland problems
- have a tumor in your pancreas
- have not had food or water for a long time (prolonged fasting or starvation)
- have low blood sugar that does not go away (chronic hypoglycemia)
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
HOW TO USE
- Read the detailed Instructions for Use that come with GVOKE.
- Use GVOKE exactly how your healthcare provider tells you to use it
- Make sure your relatives, close friends, and caregivers know where you store GVOKE and how to use it the right way before you need their help.
- Act quickly. Having very low blood sugar for a period of time may be harmful.
- Your healthcare provider will tell you how and when to use GVOKE.
- After giving GVOKE, your caregiver should call for emergency medical help right away.
- If you do not respond after 15 minutes, your caregiver may give you another dose, if available. Tell your healthcare provider each time you use GVOKE. Low blood sugar may happen again after receiving an injection of GVOKE. Your diabetes medicine may need to be changed.
HOW TO STORE
- Keep GVOKE in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it.
- Store GVOKE at temperatures between 68°F and 77°F.
- Do not keep it in the refrigerator or let it freeze.
Keep GVOKE and all medicines out of the reach of children.
For more information, call 1-877-937-4737 or go to www.GvokeGlucagon.com.
Please see the Full Prescribing Information for Gvoke