Today is World Diabetes Day. Popularly known as the ‘silent disease’ – Diabetes does not necessarily call for silence. So, each year on 14th November, an awareness campaign is run on a global level to sensitize the masses about the life-threatening disease.
Diabetes is prevalent in nearly 11.8% of the Indian population. In 2017, approximately 74 million cases of this ailment were recorded in India. The theme for 2019 is ‘Family and diabetes’. Let’s explore how families can safeguard each other and beat this disease.
The Basics of Diabetes on World Diabetes Day
Before we discuss how families can work together to fight diabetes, let’s understand what it is all about.
What is diabetes?
There is an organ in our body called the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for creating an ‘insulin’ hormone. Insulin helps in extracting glucose from the food we eat. Glucose, further, flows in the bloodstream and creates energy in our body.
Diabetes is a chronic illness that develops when our body loses its capacity to utilize or make insulin at all. It results in high blood sugar levels. In the long run, diabetes can be fatal to the body and cause several other ailments.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and more. It is also one of the chief reasons for deaths worldwide. The disease is of mainly four types – Type 1, Type 2, Borderline and Gestational diabetes.
- Nearly 425 million people are presently living with this ailment.
- Out of 2, 1 patient of diabetes goes undiagnosed.
- Merely 1 in 4 family members worldwide have sufficient education about this disease.
- 50% of Type 2 diabetes incidents are preventable.
The facts stated above make it clear that the current disease burden of diabetes is not ample. In terms of public consciousness, more effort is required at all levels. In light of these appalling statistics, World Diabetes Day was created in the year 1991.
It started off as a combined campaign by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to educate people about the threat posed by this ailment. The observation of this day became official in the year 2006 as the United Nations passed a resolution.
If you ask why November 14? It is because the day marks as the birth anniversary of Sir Frederick Banting. Dr. Banting is credited for discovering insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
It is one of the largest universally acknowledged campaign which sees the participation of more than 160 countries and influencing an audience of over 1 billion people.
What Can Families Do?
Families are entitled to looking after each other. It is the first human connection that each one of us experiences as soon as we birth. This fact was soon realized by international changemakers and is reflected in the theme for this year – Family and diabetes.
Because of the unconditional affection and plentiful time we share with our family members, the fight against diabetes can take a roll. There is a lot that each one of us can do as individuals and members to prevent, protect and treat this disease. Here are some steps that you can take:
Educate yourself and others – Teaching is a must for all those who want to act. Be aware of the causes, signs, symptoms and more of the disease.
Eat healthily and happily together – It is a famous old saying ‘A family that eats together, stays together’. Watch out for what to eat and what to avoid. Eat the right choice of carbohydrates, include high fiber in your diet, choose fresh vegetables and fruits, opt for healthy fats and more.
Watch out for symptoms – If you learn about the symptoms of diabetes, you would be quick to notice a change in someone you love. It may be their sudden weight loss, too much thirst, urgent need to urinate, fatigue among others.
Take a walk together – If not a walk, join a gym or play a sport together. Doing physical activity together would be the best family time and it would positively affect your health.
Eat an apple but do not keep the doctor away – Health checkups are more important than you think. Monitoring your blood sugar levels can help you and your family track your overall health. You can make the right changes at the right time and effectively treat if there is a health issue.
World Diabetes Day 2019 is basically doing us a favor to think more about families. It is a win-win situation because it fights diabetes and brings us all together.
So pledge with your family members to do your part of the job. Create awareness and share this post with your friends and family.
If you are a diabetic patient or you find any diabetes symptoms do consult with the Best Diabetologist in India now or book an appointment with Credihealth