World Diabetes Day – Do Your Part To Raise Awareness
World Diabetes Day
IDF and the World Health Organization created the World Diabetes Day in 1991. It was in response to the concerns about the health issues posed due to the rise of Diabetes around the world. It was marked as an official United Nations day in the year 2006. WDD is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign reaching a global audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
What is Diabetes?
To understand what Diabetes is, you need to understand what Insulin is and what role it plays in your body’s functioning. Insulin is a drug that is produced by the Pancreas. When you eat anything the body ingests glucose. Insulin plays the role of opening up the cells so that they may absorb the insulin and convert that to energy for your body. A person suffering from Diabetes is not able to release a sufficient amount of Insulin resulting in the entire conversion process to fail. Resulting in a high level of blood sugar and since the cells are starved of glucose it results in several other diseases as well.
There are mainly two types of Diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
Causes of Diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes: The more dangerous of the types. When a person suffers from Type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks part of its own pancreas. In type 1 Diabetes the body sees the insulin producing cells as a foreign entity and starts destroying them. The cells called “islets” are responsible for sensing the glucose in the blood and subsequently producing the necessary amount on insulin. If the immune system attacks these cells they are not able to do their job. Since the body attacks itself, these types of diseases are also referred to as “Auto-Immune” disease.
Type 2 Diabetes: The more commonly occurring form of Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is also referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes. This form of Diabetes normally develops after the age of 35. In this form of Diabetes the body does not produce enough insulin and as a result you need to take external medication to help with the insulin production. Type 2 Diabetes is normally caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Being overweight is normally tied to having Diabetes Type 2.
Precaution needed to be taken if you have diabetes:
Take Medication with care: If you are suffering from Diabetes it becomes important to consider what type of other medication you are taking. Most drugs prescribed for diabetes react with other drugs and can lead to life threatening consequences. Ensure to speak to your physician before taking even over the counter medication.
Keep a Check on Your ABC’s:
A1C Blood Tests which check for the sugar levels should be done on a regular basis.
Blood Pressure: Blood Pressure can be as harmful to your body as the effects of Diabetes. High Blood Pressure can be harmful to your eyes; kidneys and can even cause a stroke or even a heart attack.
Cholesterol: Having Diabetes and High Cholesterol is quite literally a deadly combination. Together diabetes and high cholesterol are a recipe for a stroke or a heart attack.
Regular Eye Check Up: The eyes are one organ that are most prone to danger due to Diabetes. Diabetic patients lose their eyes due to negligence. If you have diabetes ensure that you get regular eye checks from a trusted ophthalmologist.
Prevention of Diabetes
Since Type 2 Diabetes is caused by a sedentary lifestyle in most cases the best way to prevent it is to live a healthier lifestyle. You have to try and control you sugar intake. Eat Healthy. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. If you already have high blood sugar, medication can help to improve the condition.
Currently, there is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes. Scientists are still not sure as to the cause of the immune system attacking the “islets”. Without having that information, it becomes hard for them to know the cause of Type 1 Diabetes exactly and hence they are unable to tell steps to prevent Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes isn’t like type 2 diabetes, which at times can be prevented by taking good care of your body—watching your diet and staying physically fit and active.