World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness programme on diabetes mellitus spreading across global audience of over a billion people.
World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. It is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.
Every year, the World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on a dedicated theme that runs for one or more years. The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018-19 is Family and Diabetes.
According to the CDC report that 4.0 percent of people aged 18 to 44 years are living with diabetes, 17 percent of those aged 45 to 64 years, and 25.2 percent of those aged over 65 years.
The primary aim of the World Diabetes Day and World Diabetes Month 2018–19 campaign is to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and to promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of the condition. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to helping prevent or delay life-threatening complications. Know the signs and symptoms to protect yourself and your family.
The causes of diabetes are not known. The following risk factors may increase your chance of getting diabetes:
There are three major types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. For reasons we don’t yet fully understand, your immune system – which is meant to protect you from viruses and bacteria – attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, called beta cells.
Insulin is crucial to life. When you eat, insulin moves the energy from your food, called glucose, from your blood into the cells of your body. When the beta cells in your pancreas fail to produce insulin, glucose levels in your blood start to rise and your body can’t function properly. Over time this high level of glucose in the blood may damage nerves and blood vessels and the organs they supply.
More than 50 genes have been identified that can increase a person’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but genes are only part of the cause. Scientists are also currently investigating what environmental factors play a role.
Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common type of diabetes – in the UK over 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2. Type 2 diabetes usually affects those over 40, or 25 if you’re of South Asian descent. However, it is becoming more common among young people due to lifestyle. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are not always obvious and, unlike with type 1, they can take a long time to develop.
People with type 2 diabetes either don’t make enough insulin or don’t make insulin that the body can use properly. The cells in the body become resistant to insulin, making a greater amount of insulin necessary to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range. Eventually, the pancreas can wear out from producing extra insulin, and it may start making less and less.
Type 2 can usually be managed through diet, exercise, and self-monitoring blood glucose, at least in the first few years following diagnosis. However, type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition, and most people will need to take tablets and/or inject insulin after living with it for five to 10 years.
Gestational diabetes usually affects women during pregnancy. This type of diabetes affects about two to five per cent of pregnant women.
Pregnant women produce large amounts of hormones, which can cause the body to become resistant to the effects of insulin. By the time a woman reaches the end of the third trimester, her insulin requirements have tripled. If the pancreas is unable to match this increased demand, blood-glucose levels start to rise.
In most cases, blood glucose returns to normal after pregnancy. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have a higher risk of eventually developing type 2 diabetes.
Pregnant women who have a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes include those who: