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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch West Berkshire

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day.

World Diabetes Day is observed on November 14 each year to raise awareness about diabetes, its prevention, and management. It was introduced by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes worldwide.

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (sugar) resulting from the body's inability to produce enough insulin or effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and is crucial for the body's energy metabolism. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.Prevention:

Type 2 diabetes is often preventable through lifestyle changes. Maintaining a healthy diet, staying physically active, and avoiding tobacco use can reduce the risk.

It's crucial for individuals to be aware of the risk factors, symptoms, and management strategies associated with diabetes to make informed decisions about their health. Regular check-ups and communication with healthcare providers are essential for those living with diabetes.

It's important to look after yourself, particularly concerning diabetes, for several reasons. Diabetes, if not well-managed, can lead to serious health complications, including cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, and vision problems. Taking care of yourself helps prevent or manage these complications.

Common Symptoms for Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes:

Excessive Thirst (Polydipsia): Increased levels of sugar in the blood can lead to dehydration, causing a person to feel extremely thirsty.

Frequent Urination (Polyuria): Excess sugar in the blood is filtered by the kidneys and expelled through urine, leading to more frequent urination.

Unexplained Weight Loss: Despite eating well, individuals with diabetes may experience significant weight loss. This is particularly common in individuals with Type 1 diabetes.

Increased Hunger (Polyphagia): Due to the body's inability to use glucose effectively, individuals may feel hungry even after eating.

Fatigue: The lack of efficient energy usage from glucose can lead to persistent fatigue and a general feeling of being tired.

Blurred Vision: High blood sugar levels can affect the lens of the eye, causing blurred vision.

Slow Healing of Wounds: Diabetes can impact the body's ability to heal, leading to slow healing of cuts and wounds.

Frequent Infections: Individuals with diabetes may be more prone to infections, particularly in the skin and urinary tract.

It's important to note that not everyone with diabetes will experience all of these symptoms, and some individuals may not have any noticeable symptoms, especially in the early stages. Regular check-ups and blood tests are crucial for diagnosing diabetes, particularly in those with risk factors such as a family history of diabetes, obesity, or a sedentary lifestyle. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of diabetes, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.

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