Hyderabad: World Diabetes Day, observed annually on November 14, urges people on the global challenge of diabetes, a disorder characterised by elevated blood sugar levels. This condition arises when the pancreas fails to produce sufficient insulin or when the body doesn't respond adequately to insulin. Affecting people of all ages, diabetes is often a chronic ailment manageable through medication and lifestyle adjustments.
History- The history of Diabetes Day dates back to 1991 when the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization, responding to escalating concerns about the health risks posed by diabetes, established this global awareness campaign. Recognised as an official United Nations Day in 2006, it coincides with the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who, along with Charles Best, co-discovered insulin in 1922.
Theme- The theme for World Diabetes Day 2023 is "Access to Diabetes Care", highlighting the fact that millions of individuals worldwide lack access to essential diabetes care. The urgency is palpable—there is a call for the swift availability of medicine, technologies, support, and care to all who need them. Governments are also urged to escalate investment in diabetes care and prevention.
Diabetes in India- Known as the world's diabetes capital, India has been severely attacked facing significant challenges in combating diabetes. Reports from WHO estimate that 77 million Indians aged 18 and above have type 2 diabetes, with an additional 25 million classified as prediabetic. Over half of all diabetics are unaware of their condition, emphasising the need for early diagnosis and treatment.
A Lancet study suggests that a staggering 101 million individuals in India, constituting 11.4% of the population, have diabetes. A health ministry-commissioned poll indicates that 136 million people, or 15.3% of the population, may have pre-diabetes.
Understanding diabetes- Diabetes is of various types. Type 2 diabetes, affecting over 90% of the population, can often be delayed or prevented through healthy habits. Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition, affects up to 10% of individuals and is commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. Gestational diabetes, occurring during pregnancy, increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Symptoms- Recognising the symptoms of diabetes is vital for timely intervention. These may include increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, numbness or tingling in extremities, slow-healing sores, and recurring infections.
Curbing diabetes- Managing diabetes involves lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stress management. Regular checkups, understanding key health metrics like cholesterol and blood pressure, and maintaining eye health through annual exams are integral. Hormonal changes during menstruation and menopause can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, warranting attention.
For those with diabetes, quitting smoking is imperative as it heightens the risk of complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Additionally, moderation in alcohol consumption can aid in better blood sugar control.
More on lifestyle you may want to read
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