Medicine

Published on November 25th, 2014 | by Inez Imray

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Diabetes Awareness Month

Assistant Editor Inez Imray tells us about November as the National Diabetes Awareness month.

With Halloween officially over, most of us will now be spending the next month getting ready for the festive season! November always seems to be remarkably easy to forget about. Many of us celebrated Bonfire Night but what else is there? Actually, this November marks yet another National Diabetes Awareness month! And what better way to really get involved in diabetes awareness than to hear about it from a first time blogger?

The purpose

The month is supported by the National Diabetes Education Program, a partnership of the National Institutes of Health in the US. The point of the whole affair is to help to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, to minimise the risk of heart disease for those who already have diabetes and to provide health tips for diabetics in general! Support for diabetes awareness can be seen everywhere. For example the company JDRF research type 1 diabetes in an attempt to ‘turn type 1 into type none’ and are promoting the cause as well as hosting charity events and attempting to raise money.

“November is just on the horizon. Be sure to spread diabetes awareness everywhere you go this month. Education is so important and not enough people have the knowledge necessary to help us find a cure.” This is one of many status updates found on the community Facebook page for Diabetes awareness; promoting a healthy lifestyle, knowledge, and sharing stories of diagnosed diabetics. I would definitely recommend a browse of these websites!

infographics diabetesDiabetes basics

We probably all know a little about the basics of diabetes. Many of us might know someone who suffers from diabetes. Perhaps a friend, a family member, or even a second cousin of your best friend’s fiancé! I have a close diabetic friend myself. I considered myself very aware of the global problem of diabetes, yet the rise in predicted cases was shocking, especially in developing countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists 347 million being affected at the moment with millions more projected cases in the upcoming years!

Diabetes is not always preventable. The two main forms — type 1 and type 2 — are both related to the hormone insulin. Type 1 is when not enough insulin is produced, and type 2 is due to the body not being able to use insulin properly. Type 1 is unfortunately unpreventable yet a huge risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes is obesity. The rise in global obesity levels contribute massively to the rise in diabetes cases with 90% of all diabetes being type 2! Diabetes awareness month promotes vital knowledge that can prevent type 2 diabetes; such as a simple 30 minutes of exercise every day. It seems to me that an increased awareness (of diabetes awareness month) could get people on their feet and promote some necessary lifestyle changes!

It seems to me that an increased awareness (of diabetes awareness month) could get people on their feet and promote some necessary lifestyle changes!

The discovery of insulin in 1921 by Banting and Best was a huge breakthrough in diabetes treatment. Before that diabetes almost certainly led to death. Yet we are not quite there yet. Diabetes cases are only increasing and type 1 diabetes remains incurable. So if you have the time perhaps browse some websites, share some information on social media and tell your friends and family all about diabetes. Let’s embrace diabetes awareness!

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About the Author

is a 3rd year Biomedical Sciences undergraduate, specialising in Physiology.



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