Today, Thursday 7th April 2016 is World Health Day which is a global health awareness day celebrated every year under the sponsorship of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This year, World Health Day is dedicated to raising awareness of diabetes in the hope that we can finally beat it.
Around the world, it is estimated that 347 million people suffer from diabetes and the prevalence is growing, particularly in low and middle income countries. The WHO projects that by 2030, diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in the world as the disease caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and gives us the energy that we need to live. If insulin cannot get into the cells to be burned as energy, sugar builds up to harmful levels in the blood, which can lead to hyperglycemia (too much blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (too low sugar in the blood). This can cause major complications in the body including heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, impotence and infections that may lead to amputation. This is particularly prevalent in those with high blood sugar levels.
There are two main forms of diabetes Type 1 and Type 2. People with Type 1 diabetes typically make none of their own insulin and therefore require insulin injections to survive. People with Type 2 diabetes usually produce their own insulin, but not enough or they are unable to use it properly. Type 2 diabetes sufferers are typically overweight and sedentary which raise the needs for insulin.
World Health Day 2016: Key Messages
- The diabetes epidemic is rapidly increasing in many countries, with the documented increase most dramatic in low- and middle-income countries.
- A large proportion of diabetes cases are preventable. Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes.
- Diabetes is treatable. Diabetes can be controlled and managed to prevent complications. Increasing access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment are vital components of the response.
- Efforts to prevent and treat diabetes will be important to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal 3 target of reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030. Many sectors of society have a role to play, including governments, employers, educators, manufacturers, civil society, private sector, the media and individuals themselves.
World Health Day 2016 Diabetes Campaign Goals:
- Increase awareness about the rise in diabetes, and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries;
- Trigger a set of specific, effective and affordable actions to tackle diabetes. These will include steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes; and
- Launch the first Global report on diabetes, which will describe the burden and consequences of diabetes and advocate for stronger health systems to ensure improved surveillance, enhanced prevention, and more effective management of diabetes.
Repton Medical has recently launched a NEW product into the UK healthcare market aimed at people who suffer with diabetes. These specialist medical diabetes sockshave been proven to help people with diabetes keep their feet warm by nano-scale and infrared technology. Whilst wearing the socks blood flow is fast and brain circulation is good meaning blood in the capillaries returns to the heart rapidly. This results in the workload of the heart being reduced.
Information source – World Health Organisation