World Diabetes Day 2023
"Less sugar means more happiness."
World Diabetes Day is annually observed on November 14th. This special day provides an opportunity to raise awareness among the public about diabetes, which is recognized as a global public health issue. People need to analyze how it impacts the future generation. We should take preventive measures to control diabetes in young and older individuals. In recent days, irrespective of age, gender, and other factors, most of us are affected by diabetes. On this world diabetes day, let's discuss diabetes and its impact on the people around us.
History Of World Diabetes Day
Every year, November 14 is commemorated as World Diabetes Day, which was initiated by the International Diabetes Federation along with the World Health Organization in 1991 to honor the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who is one of the discoverers of insulin. This year, we will celebrate and spread awareness with the theme of ‘Access to diabetes care’.
Let's Know About Diabetes And Its Impact
Diabetes is a severe pancreas disorder, resulting in insufficient insulin production or the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
According to the IDF (International Diabetes Federation), 537 million adults (1 in 10) were affected by diabetes in 2021, and it was expected to rise to about 643 million in 2030 and 783 million in 2045. We need to understand the prevalence of diabetes all over the world and protect our people from this sugar-coated enemy.
Type Of Diabetes
The common types of diabetes that affect most people are given below:
- Type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes): Type 1 diabetes is the condition in which your body's immune system is raised against the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
- Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes results in increased blood sugar levels, and it is known as adult-onset diabetes.
- Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes is caused when a pregnant woman's body can't make sufficient amounts of insulin.
- Prediabetes: Prediabetes is characterised by an elevated blood glucose level which is higher than the normal value but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
In general, diabetes can be categorized into two: diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus, which share the common symptoms of increased thirst and urination. But differences in blood sugar levels.
Common Symptoms Of Diabetes
It is often considered a silent killer due to its symptoms, which everyone cannot identify. The symptoms of diabetes may differ based on the type of diabetes and the patient's body condition. Some of the common symptoms are
- Frequent urination
- Feeling thirsty
- Sudden weight loss
- Feeling hungry
- Blurry vision
- Feeling numb or tingling hands or feet
- Feel very tired
- Dry skin
- Having sores that heal slowly
- More prone to infections
6 Risk Factors Of Diabetes
- Heart and blood vessel disease: High blood glucose level from diabetes increases the force of the blood and damages the artery walls and blood vessels. The most common heart diseases associated with diabetes are angina, coronary artery disease, narrowing of arteries, and high blood pressure.
- Nerve damage: Nerve damage or neuropathy is caused by an increase in glucose content in the blood, which injures the walls of tiny blood vessels or capillaries that supply the nerve. If this goes unnoticed, it may affect the digestive system and cause problems like nausea, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.
- Kidney damage: If blood sugar is not maintained for a prolonged period of time, it completely blocks the action of kidneys so that it cannot remove wastes and excess fluid in the body. It leads to complete kidney failure.
- Diabetic eye disorder: High blood sugar level leads to blurry vision, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy, and diabetes is the major reason of blindness in adults ages 20 to 74.
- Foot damage: Nerve damage causes poor blood flow to the feet and increases foot complications. It starts with cuts and blisters, and if it is untreated, it leads to several infections that keep on spreading to the toe, foot, and entire leg. Advanced stages include surgical removal of affected areas.
- Pregnancy complications: High blood glucose levels are dangerous for both the baby and the mother. Pregnancy complications include miscarriage, birth defects in developing babies, and difficulty in getting pregnant, which often occurs when diabetes is not well controlled.
Tips For Preventing Diabetes
- Do regular exercise.
- Focus more on weight loss if overweight.
- Follow a healthy diet and include more fruits in your diet.
- Quit or limit your smoking habit.
- Identify the underlying cause as early as possible in the pre-diabetic stage.
- Take less refined carbohydrates.
- Consume fiber-rich foods.
Break The Myth And Know The Fact: Top 8 Myths And Facts About Diabetes
Myth: Diabetes is contagious
Fact: No, Diabetes is not a contagious disease that can be spread through saliva, blood, or any other medium. According to research, diabetes is categorized as a non-communicable disease.
Myth: Diabetes is a disease of old age
Facts: Diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people, but it can also affect children (juvenile diabetes). So, If you're an older adult, it is recommended to maintain a healthy diet and proper weight.
Myth: I can stop my medicine if the blood sugar levels come back to normal
Facts: No, You should not stop your diabetic medicine by yourself. Your healthcare provider will decide when to stop the medicine based on your health history. So, It is advised to speak with your doctor before deciding on your health.
Myth: Soaking feet in water helps to reduce the blood sugar level
Fact: No, there is no clinical study related to soaking feet in water, which results in a drop in blood sugar levels. It is even worse and increases the risk of foot problems in diabetic individuals.
Myth: Type 2 diabetes is completely curable
Fact: According to studies, type 2 diabetes cannot be cured. However, patients can return to the non-diabetes glucose range (complete remission) or prediabetes glucose level (partial remission) if proper medication or diet is followed.
Myth: Diabetic patients are restricted from eating sweets.
Fact: You don't need to cut off the sweets from your diet. However, eating sweets, chocolate, or sugary food is still possible as long as it is part of a healthful diet plan. Ensure you follow our recommended dietary guidelines from your doctor or nutritionist.
Myth: Eating spicy food can reduce the risk of diabetes.
Fact: No evidence proves the consumption of spicy food reduces the risk of diabetes. Speak with your doctor for a proper dietary plan during the treatment period of diabetes.
Myth: Doing exercise is not safe for diabetic patients.
Fact: No, Doing regular exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes. Doing simple exercise or walking is advised to reduce the risk of diabetes.
Let's mark World Diabetes Day by raising awareness and helping the person with diabetes to manage it and pre-diabetic to prevent it. On this significant occasion, let's commit to dispelling myths and spreading awareness among our loved ones to shield them from the impact of this prevalent health concern. Together, let's stand against diabetes, aiming to create a world free from its grasp and ensure the well-being of our dear ones.
"Blood sugar may be sweet, but diabetes we'll defeat."