World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day takes place on November 14th. It is a way to raise awareness about this chronic disease. Diabetes occurs when the body is not producing insulin or does not use it properly. In 2019, World Diabetes Day has the “Family and Diabetes” theme. The purpose is to encourage families to learn more about diabetes symptoms and to understand the risks.

A study from 2018 conducted by IDF showed that four out of five parents would have difficulty identifying diabetes signs in their children. One in two people is living with diabetes and does not know. This shows how urgent it is to educate society about this condition.

Pre-diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are high but not enough to diagnose diabetes. Thus, it is very important to be aware of this situation, since untreated diabetes can lead to worse consequences.

Gestational diabetes may arise during pregnancy. Usually, it disappears after birth. It is diagnosed when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but they do not reach diabetes levels. In most cases, gestational diabetes has no symptoms. If this occurs during pregnancy, the mother and the baby are more likely to suffer from diabetes type 2.

Diabetes type 1 appears when the body does not produce insulin. It is more common in children and adolescents. It can occur in just a few weeks. Signs that you may suffer from the condition include thirst, frequent urinating, hunger, blurred vision and, among others, fatigue. Patients with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily. Type 1 cannot be prevented, and it is unsure what are its causes.

Diabetes type 2 happens when the body does not use insulin effectively. In most cases, the disease appears after 45 years old and takes years to develop. It is the most common type of diabetes, affecting 400 million people worldwide. It is caused by a lack of exercise and excess body weight. The signs are similar to those of type 1 diabetes but are usually less severe. In some cases, the patient may even have no symptoms. This type of diabetes can be prevented by having a healthy diet, not smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight and exercise.

Diabetes has worrying complications, such as weight gain, itchy skin, tingling and numbness in hands and feet, vision problems, heart problems, kidney complications and among others, strokes.

A 2019 study conducted by Dr Hajira Dambha-Miller in the United Kingdom, revealed that people who lost 10% of their weight, during the first five years of type 2 diabetes, had a remission of the disease – regardless of how fast they lost weight or which diet they were following. It has also been shown that an extreme weight loss may cause the remission of type 2 diabetes by 90%.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2016 diabetes was the seventh most common cause of death in the world. In the same year, 1.6 million deaths occurred because of diabetes.

References:

  1. Diabetes, October 2018, World Health Organization
  2. An overview of diabetes types and treatments, November 2018, MedicalNewsToday
  3. Weight Loss May Put Diabetes Into Remission, October 2019, WebMD