November 14 is known around the globe as World Diabetes Day. The campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation to try and help raise awareness of the condition – including its symptoms and what it is like to live with on a daily basis.
Through social media and activities being held across the country, the campaign hopes to ensure that more people understand exactly what diabetes is. To help the campaign, we’ve written this article to give you all an insight into diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is one of the most common life-long health conditions and affects around 3.5 million people in the United Kingdom alone – with a further 549,000 people who are living with the condition without even knowing it.
People have the condition when the glucose levels in their blood become too high. This occurs when your pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to help glucose enter your body’s cells – known as type 1 diabetes.
It can also be that the insulin produced doesn’t work in the correct way – known as type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is commonly found in people over the age of 40 – although the number of children’s cases is rising. Type 2 accounts for between 85-95% of diabetes cases.
What are the symptoms?
The majority of people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed as a child or during their early adult years. The condition’s symptoms can be hard to notice or keep track of when you are an adult but here are some common ones for you:
1 Frequent toilet visits – especially at nighttime
2 Becoming thirsty on a regular basis
4 Weight Loss
5 Genital irritation / Thrush
6 Blurred Vision
7 Wounds taking longer to heal
If you experience any of the above it is important that you contact your GP as soon as possible.
How does it affect everyday life?
Diabetes does affect a person’s everyday life and, unfortunately, there is currently no cure for the condition. Being careful and observant is a must if you have the condition and people must stick to the guidelines given to them by their GP.
People with type 1 diabetes are required to inject themselves with insulin on a daily basis. People with this condition are taught how to do this via the insulin injection pen. Alongside these injections, people with type 1 are also required to check their blood sugar levels throughout the day – to ensure that they aren’t too high or too low.
Life can become a balancing act with the condition as people need to match the amount of insulin with the amount of food they eat and exercise that they take part in. Diet is very important for people who have diabetes.
Fibre, alongside plenty of fruit and vegetables and foods that are low in fat, salt and sugar and a must. A special diabetes dietitian will sit down with you personally to help you through your eating plans.
Those with type 2 diabetes are required to change their lifestyle in order to limit the long-term effects of the condition. Doctors advise that patients do the following to help avoid the condition in the first place, or to help limit the effects:
1 Quit Smoking
2 Maintain a healthy weight / lose weight
3 Take part in regular exercise
4 Only drink moderate levels of alcohol
5 Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Medication may eventually be required to help control a patient’s blood glucose levels. If these tablets are not effective then type 2 patients may also be required to inject themselves with insulin on a daily basis.
Help The Cause
To find out how you can take part in World Diabetes Day, please take a look at the #WorldDiabetesDay hashtag on social media outlets such as Twitter. If you need any specific help regarding your condition or if you’re worried you may have diabetes, please consult your doctor. An alarm from Careline365 can be useful if you suffer from diabetes. This is a condition that qualifies you for VAT Exemption so you can pay reduced rates when your order your Careline personal alarm.