World Diabetes Day is every year on November 14, ?rst created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organization. Diabetes is a chronic disease where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin if any at all. It also leads to serious health conditions and, in many ways, can be prevent-able. That’s why we take this day to spread awareness and education. It has grown from humble beginnings to become a globally-celebrated event which increases awareness about diabetes.
Comprising hundreds of campaigns, activities, screenings, lecture, meetings and more, World Diabetes Day is proving internationally effective in spreading the message about diabetes and raising awareness for the condition.
World Diabetes Day is internationally recognised and is an of?cial United Nations Day.
Essentially, diabetes is about the body’s ability (or lack of it) to produce the required amount of a hormone called insulin to control glucose levels in the blood. There are broadly two types of diabetes:
Type 1 requires daily administration of arti?cial insulin by means of injection or insulin pump. Type 2 is more generally managed by a combination of dietary control and medication in the form of tablets.
It’s very important that people with diabetes maintain good control of their condition to help reduce and avoid long term complications, and there have been huge advances in this area over recent years. However, it is vitally important that development work continues, to ensure people with the condition can live as normal a life as possible.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) will be involved in coordinating activities on the day, so keep an eye out for an event near you! Any help or support you can give this cause will be greatly appreciated by everyone concerned.
November 14th is a signi?cant date in the diabetes calendar because it marks the birthday of the man who co-discovered insulin, Frederick Banting. Banting discovered insu-lin in 1922, alongside Charles Best.
World Diabetes Day was jointly introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). The global diabetes awareness campaign was introduced amidst concern over an escalating diabetes epidemic.
HISTORY OF DIABETES
Diabetes is considered to have been around 1550 BC. The successful extraction and injection of insulin into humans was discovered in 1922. So, comparatively, our understanding of diabetes is quite new compared to its long, arduous march through history.
The difference between type two and type one started around 1850, where medical professionals at the time believed that they knew enough of the difference between the two to warrant two categories.
Since then, type II diabetes has ballooned to 90 percent of the those affected, with an estimated $425 million individuals affected worldwide. This alarming rise in such a preventable disease is one of the reasons the WHO and IDF wanted to create World Diabetes Day – to help spread awareness of how to prevent contracting the illness.
Having to manage blood sugar levels on a daily basis is a timeconsuming and costly endeavor, as the economic cost of diabetes globally is around $727 billion (USD) and in the US alone it costs almost a third of that, at $245 billion.
The costliness and its prevention create even more reason for us to spread awareness of the disease, and also celebrate the birth of the man who helped bring insulin into the modern world as an effective treatment against it.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, that acts like a key to let glucose from the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells in the body to produce energy. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. Insulin helps glucose get into the cells.
Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycaeNOVEMBER 2019
mia). Over the long-term high
glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.
Types of diabetes There are three main types of diabetes – type 1, type 2 and gestational.
• Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. When you have type 1 diabetes, your body produces very little or no insulin, which means that you need daily insulin injections to maintain blood glucose levels under control. Learn more.
• Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make good use of the insulin that it produces. The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment is healthy lifestyle, including increased physical activity and healthy diet. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will require oral drugs and/or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control. Learn more.
• Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that consists of high blood glucose during pregnancy and is associated with complications to both mother and child. GDM usually disappears after pregnancy but women affected and their children are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
13 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Uncontrolled cases can cause blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and other serious conditions.
Before diabetes is diagnosed, there is a period where blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabe-tes. This is known as prediabetes.
It’s estimated that up to 70% of people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, progressing from prediabe-tes to diabetes isn’t inevitable (1).
Although there are certain factors you can’t change — such as your genes, age or past behaviors — there are many actions you can take to reduce the risk of diabetes.
Here are 13 ways to avoid getting diabetes.
1. Cut Sugar and Re?ned Carbs From Your Diet Eating sugary foods and re?ned carbs can put at risk individuals on the fast track to developing diabetes.
Your body rapidly breaks these foods down into small sugar molecules, which are absorbed into your bloodstream.
The resulting rise in blood sugar stimulates your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that helps sugar get out of the bloodstream and into your body’s cells.
In people with prediabetes, the body’s cells are resistant to insulin’s action, so sugar remains high in the blood. To compensate, the pancreas produces more insulin, attempting to bring blood sugar down to a healthy level.
2. Work Out Regularly Performing physical activity on a regular basis may help prevent diabetes.
Exercise increases the insulin sensitivity of your cells. So when you exercise, less insulin is required to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
3. Drink Water as Your Primary Beverage Water is by far the most natural beverage you can drink. What’s more, sticking with water most of the time helps you avoid beverages that are high in sugar, preservatives and other questionable ingredients. Sugary beverages like soda and punch have been linked to an increased risk of both type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA).
4. Lose Weight If You’re Overweight or Obese Although not everyone who develops type 2 diabetes is overweight or obese, the majority are.
What’s more, those with pre-diabetes tend to carry excess weight in their midsection and around abdominal organs like the liver. This is known as visceral fat.
5. Quit Smoking Smoking has been shown to cause or contribute to many serious health conditions, including heart disease, emphysema and cancers of the lung, breast, prostate and digestive tract (27Trusted Source).
6. Follow a Very-Low-Carb Diet Following a ketogenic or very-low-carb diet can help you avoid diabetes.
Although there are a number of ways of eating that promote weight loss, very-low-carb diets have strong evidence behind them.
7. Watch Portion Sizes Whether or not you decide to follow a low-carb diet, it’s important to avoid large portions of food to reduce the risk of diabetes, especially if you are overweight.
Eating too much food at one time has been shown to cause higher blood sugar and insu-lin levels in people at risk of diabetes (37Trusted Source).
8. Avoid Sedentary Behaviors It’s important to avoid being sedentary if you want to prevent diabetes.
If you get no or very little physical activity, and you sit during most of your day, then you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
9. Eat a High-Fiber Diet Getting plenty of fiber is beneficial for gut health and weight management.
Most unprocessed plant foods contain ?ber, although some have more than others. Check out this list of 22 high-?ber foods for many excellent sources of ?ber.
10. Optimize Vitamin D Levels Vitamin D is important for blood sugar control. Indeed, studies have found that people who don’t get enough vitamin D, or whose blood levels are too low, have a greater risk of all types of diabetes (49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source, 51Trusted Source, 52Trusted Source). Most health organizations recommend maintaining a vitamin D blood level of at least 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l).
11. Minimize Your Intake of Processed Foods One clear step you can take to improve your health is to minimize your consumption of processed foods. They’re linked to all sorts of health problems, including heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
12. Drink Coffee or Tea Although water should be your primary beverage, research suggests that including coffee or tea in your diet may help you avoid diabetes. Studies have reported that drinking coffee on a daily basis reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 8–54%, with the greatest effect generally seen in people with the highest consumption (56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source, 58Trusted Source, 59Trusted Source, 60Trusted Source, 61).
13. Consider Taking These Natural Herbs There are a few herbs that may help increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the likelihood of diabetes progression.