World Diabetes Day
November 14 celebrates World Diabetes Day, the primary global awareness campaign for diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body does not effectively use the insulin that is produced. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. There are two types of diabetes; type-1, which is a deficit in insulin production and usually requires daily insulin injections and type-2 diabetes, when the body is ineffectively using insulin. Type-2 diabetes accounts for 90 percent of all cases of diabetes in the world and is mainly a result of physical inactivity and excess weight.
A person’s weight, level of physical activity and family history all impact how the body responds to insulin. Adopting and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits have been demonstrated to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type-2 diabetes. Practice the following to help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes:
• Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
• Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
• Stay physically active – 30 minutes of moderate –intensity activity on most days of the week.
• Limit dietary sugars and saturated fats.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Diabetes in the early stages may not cause symptoms. When symptoms occur they may present as: being very thirsty, urinating a lot, losing weight without trying, having blurry vision and feeling hungrier or more tired than usual. A simple blood test to measure the amount of sugar in your blood is done to diagnose diabetes. Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes is essential to minimizing the complications of the disease. The key to avoiding complications from diabetes is to maintain good blood sugar control. Over time, diabetes can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cause damage to blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.