Thursday November 14 marks World Diabetes Day, which was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Foundation and World Health Organisation to raise awareness about the growing rate of diabetes around the world.
The date was chosen because it is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, a Canadian scientist who, alongside his colleague Charles Best, discovered insulin.
While Banting received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923 for the discovery, he criticised the Nobel committee for not also nominating Best ,and split the prize money with his partner.
For World Diabetes Day 2019, there are three key areas that will be focused on.
The first is the importance of detecting diabetes as early as possible.
There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Type 1 diabetes is typically caused by an auto-immune reaction where the body attacks the insulin-producing cells.
As a result, people with Type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin.
While it can affect all ages, it most commonly develops in children and young adults.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes and is caused by high insulin resistance or an insulin deficiency.
This form of diabetes can occur at any age and is linked with poor diet and obesity.
Finally, GDM occurs when glucose levels in the blood are elevated during pregnancy.
It occurs in approximately 1 in 25 pregnancies and can lead to serious complications in both the mother and the child.
However, it usually disappears after the pregnancy.
Regardless of which type of diabetes a person has, it is important to detect it as early as possible.
There are a number of ways to do this, such as having blood glucose tests or eye examinations done.
Also keep an eye out for potential symptoms such as constant hunger and fatigue and having to urinate frequently, which can also lead to dehydration and blurred vision.
The second focus of World Diabetes Day 2019 is preventing Type 2 diabetes.
The most common cause of Type 2 diabetes is an unhealthy lifestyle that includes a bad diet and a lack of exercise.
The easiest way to minimise the risk of Type 2 diabetes is to eat healthy, avoid junk food – especially if it’s high in sugar – and make sure to exercise regularly.
The IDF recommends engaging in some form of high-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes, three to five days a week.
The final aim of this year’s World Diabetes Day is to urge people to manage the disease.
While diabetes is a chronic disease, it is still entirely possible to live a long, healthy life if it is managed correctly.
A person with diabetes will have to be careful with their diet and be physically active, and take the appropriate medication as prescribed by their doctor.
This medication can include regular insulin injections, as well as oral medication.