World Diabetes Day falls on 14th November every year, a significant date in the Diabetes calendar, marking the birthday of the man who co-discovered insulin, Frederick Banting.
How is World Diabetes Day celebrated?
World Diabetes Day is a truly global event that is celebrated throughout the world in over 160 different countries. It’s a day when millions of people around the world come together to raise awareness of diabetes, sharing knowledge and building understanding. Comprising hundreds of campaigns, activities, screenings, lectures, meetings and more, World Diabetes Day is proving to be internationally effective in spreading the message about diabetes and raising awareness for the condition.
What exactly is Diabetes? What is the cause?
Diabetes mellitus, most commonly referred to as diabetes, is a condition wherein a body is either incapable of producing insulin or the body is not able to utilize the insulin present in the body. There are three main types of diabetes mellitus:
- Type 1 results from the pancreas’s failure to produce insulin. This form was previously referred to as ‘insulin-dependent diabetes’ or ‘juvenile diabetes’, the cause of which is unknown.
- Type 2 begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. As the disease progresses, a lack of insulin may also develop. This form of diabetes was previously referred to as ‘non – insulin – dependent diabetes or ‘adult-onset diabetes’. The most common cause is excessive body weight and not enough exercise.
- Gestational diabetes is the third main type and occurs when pregnant women without a previous history of diabetes develop high blood sugar levels.
While many consider diabetes as an ailment with genetic predisposition, today it has become one of the leading lifestyle ailments. Diabetes is typically characterized by prolonged elevated blood sugar levels which further expose a person to the risk of developing a range of health issues including cardiovascular diseases.
According to the official World Health Organization data, India tops the list of countries with the highest number of diabetics; China, America, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil, Italy and Bangladesh to follow. In the year 2000, the total number of diabetics in India stood at 31.7 million and is expected to rise by more than 100% in the year 2030 to account to a whopping 79.4 million.
How can we reduce the risk of developing diabetes?
The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) states that consuming a healthy and balanced diet comprising all the essential food groups, micro and macronutrients will stave off the risk of developing diabetes and a range of other non-communicable lifestyle diseases. NIN suggests loading up on phytonutrients, dietary fibre, antioxidants ‘for delaying ageing and preventing the processes which lead to diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart ailments’.
Who is most at risk of developing diabetes?
Undeniably, individuals with excessive weight are at a greater risk of falling vulnerable to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. Therefore, besides eating healthy, regular physical activity is of the utmost importance to beat obesity and avoid the risk of developing lifestyle diseases including diabetes.
By sharing knowledge and raising awareness of diabetes, together we can build a better future for everyone fighting!