World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the increasing health risks due to diabetes. 14th November is celebrated as World Diabetes Day as it happens to be the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
The theme for WDD this year is “access to diabetes education” for both healthcare providers and people with diabetes. Healthcare professionals must know how to detect and diagnose diabetes early and provide the best possible care. People living with diabetes must have access to ongoing education to understand their condition better and avoid complications.
Understanding diabetes is the first step towards managing and preventing it.
- What is diabetes?
Ans: Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when our blood glucose level is too high. It can occur either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
- Why is it important to detect or diagnose diabetes early?
Ans: Diabetes affects more than 500 million people in the world today, and almost half of them do not know that they have it. By 2030, almost 1 in 9 people will be living with diabetes. This puts them at increased risk of life-threatening complications.
- Who is at high risk of developing diabetes?
Ans: A person is 2–6 times more likely to get type 2 diabetes if they are overweight or obese, lead a sedentary lifestyle, have a parent or sibling with diabetes, or have ever had high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. Anyone can develop diabetes, and that’s why it’s important to get tested.
People with diabetes should be aware of the ABC–
“A” stands for “A1c,” as in “hba1c,” which shows your average blood glucose levels over the last 3 months.
“B” stands for “blood pressure”; controlling blood pressure is just as important as controlling blood sugar.
“C” stands for “cholesterol.” High blood pressure and high cholesterol put one at a higher risk for heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease.
If one gets the right treatment and support, one can manage and live well with diabetes. Diabetes cannot be cured, but by making changes to one’s diet, increasing physical activity, and losing weight, about half of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed in some people.
So now is a great time to start making healthy changes to one’s lifestyle to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Your doctor or healthcare team can support you in making these changes.
Dr. (Mrs.) Chandan Kamath,
“Adhrit” Endocrine & Diabetes Centre,
#1-4, UGF, Eureka Junction, T B Road, Hubballi- 580029. Ph:9886320307.