What Getting ON IT Means to Me for American Diabetes Month®

By Dr. Phil McGraw

As someone who has lived with type 2 diabetes for more than 25 years, I understand the day-to-day issues that accompany managing a lifelong disease. It’s important to me to amplify the conversation around these challenges that people living with type 2 diabetes experience. And it’s especially important to do this in November during American Diabetes Month, a key moment for our country to recognize this growing epidemic and support those in our communities who are impacted.

When I was first diagnosed, I knew I needed to step up and take a proactive role in managing the condition, so I dove right into learning about type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, not everyone has a similar experience. In addition to facing the daily challenges of managing diet, exercise and medication, people living with type 2 diabetes also face misconceptions and stigma – I’ve seen and felt it firsthand. All of this can feel overwhelming and keep a person from committing to a healthier life. 

I partnered with AstraZeneca for the ON IT Movement to help people with type 2 diabetes overcome the barriers to managing the condition and stick to their treatment plan. In the spirit of American Diabetes Month, I wanted to share what my work with AstraZeneca and the ON IT Movement means to me and the significant strides we’ve made to help people take action.

A highlight from the ON IT Movement that encapsulates the spirit of American Diabetes Month was joining AstraZeneca on Capitol Hill, where we spoke with members of Congress to advocate for their constituents who are living with diabetes. During that eventful day, I also had the chance to speak with Hope Warshaw, a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and author. Hope and I had a great conversation about the critical role a diabetes educator can play on a person’s treatment team, as well as the importance of having a knowledgeable and supportive educator on your side to help motivate you, cheer you on and support your efforts to manage your diabetes.

We also recently discussed the ON IT Movement on my television show, Dr. Phil, to help elevate the conversation around type 2 diabetes at a national level. I spoke with Andre, a firefighter captain who was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and wanted tips to help manage the condition. I was joined by campaign partner Dr. Pamela Kushner, MD, FAAFP, clinical professor of family medicine at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. It was important to me to share my personal experience living with type 2 diabetes with my loyal and dedicated viewers, and Dr. Kushner helped me explain the key facts about the disease and its risk factors. The educational segment may help anyone feeling overwhelmed by a new diabetes diagnosis. You can view the segment at DrPhil.com.

I’m thrilled to see how the campaign has grown and brought attention to the many components of successful type 2 diabetes management. Throughout my years of living with the disease, I’ve come to believe that the most important part of managing type 2 diabetes is having a support system around you to help you with your treatment plan. For example, in addition to my doctor, my wife Robin has also helped me create a healthier lifestyle. Robin helps me plan my meals so that I eat before I get too hungry and avoid foods that are going to spike my blood sugar. There were countless times that if it wasn’t for her support, I would have made different and less healthy choices.

I’m pleased with what AstraZeneca and I have accomplished since March, and most importantly, I’m proud of those who have worked to overcome the psychological barriers to managing their type 2 diabetes and found the motivation to Join the Movement. I encourage those living with type 2 diabetes to register to join the movement at OnItMovement.com and learn more about my story and my goal to help people living with type 2 diabetes feel empowered by their treatment plan.


3303803 Last Updated 11/16