How One Country Music Star Is Bringing Awareness To America’s Diabetes Challenge
In April 2015, award-winning country artist Tim McGraw joined with Merck and the American Diabetes Association to promote a new public awareness campaign for type 2 diabetes. This new campaign, America’s Diabetes Challenge, aims to reduce the risk of complications for individuals with type 2 diabetes by encouraging them to work with their doctor to set and achieve personalized health management goals.
McGraw has long been a proponent of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and is no stranger to type 2 diabetes. In an October 2015 interview with the Chicago Sun Times, he points out that because the disease affects nearly 30 million Americans, no one needs to look far outside their own circle to find someone who’s been affected. Two people close to the singer, an aunt and close friend, are currently battling the disease, while another aunt was lost to complications. McGraw wants people to know that such complications can be avoided.
According to the American Diabetes Association, possible complications of type 2 diabetes include damage to the nervous system, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, eyes, and more. However, by controlling blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol, individuals with diabetes can delay or even prevent such complications. This is the message McGraw wants diabetes sufferers to know. Type 2 diabetes is a manageable disease, but patients must be proactive to protect their health.
To educate diabetes sufferers and guide them in taking charge of their health, America’s Diabetes Challenge includes specific steps patients can follow to get their blood glucose under control. Diabetes sufferers are encouraged to visit and commit to working with their doctor to set a personalized A1C goal.
A1C is a test that measures a person’s average blood glucose level over the two to three months preceding the test. While a common A1C goal for diabetes management is below 7 percent, this goal is not for everybody. Many patients do not realize that it’s also possible for their blood sugar to be too low. Only a trained medical professional can determine an appropriate, individualized A1C goal.
We love seeing someone in the spotlight put such an emphasis on a condition so close to our hearts. Education and awareness are such crucial elements of preventing type 2 diabetes, and creating a sense of urgency within the public to urge for more funding towards important research that could help find a cure for this chronic illness.
Until then, the good news is, with the help of a knowledgeable physician, type 2 diabetes is manageable. If you or someone you know suffers from this condition, take control today. Learn your A1C goal and develop a plan to reach it. You can take the America’s Diabetes Challenge pledge, and also learn how you can donate or help bring more awareness to diabetes on The Diabetes Site.