World Diabetes Day falls on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The purpose of this one day is to raise awareness of a condition that millions of people all around the world live with every 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 artificial 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 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. Make a note – 14th November is World Diabetes Day!
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 time-consuming 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: Shutterstock