Diabetes has been called an invisible disease.

Fact: About 29 million Americans deal with this chronic illness.

Fact: Every 23 seconds, another person in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes.

And, fact: with 86 million Americans in danger of developing this condition, raising awareness of diabetes symptoms, treatment options, risk factors and ways to lower those risks are of high importance.

In November, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) calls attention to diabetes with American Diabetes Month. Employees at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and the Jennie B. Richmond Nursing Home will be wearing gray on Monday, Nov. 14 – World Diabetes Day.  Gray was established as the designated color for diabetes in the early 1990s.

The stereotypes and myths about diabetes can be addressed through the awareness efforts of national organizations like the ADA. Local outreach from healthcare providers and primary care centers to patients and families also plays a key role in clearing up confusion about diabetes.

Education programs like the one at BCH are helpful for patients with diabetes and pre-diabetes to access accurate, relevant and current information about these conditions. BCH’s Diabetes Education Program is accredited by the American Association of Diabetic Educators, and offers group and individual classes for pre-diabetics and diabetics. The BCH diabetes support group meets on the first Monday of most months. This group continues with the topic “Holiday Eating” on Nov. 7 and “Web Sites and Apps” on Dec. 5.

There is no cost to participate in this group. For more information, call (716) 592-9643.