Diabetes is an extremely serious condition that can affect people in various different ways and can ultimately lead to the rest of their lives being affected. On this day, November 14th, the world stands together to raise awareness for diabetes. Approximately 4 million people across the UK suffer from the condition many of whom have been left undiagnosed or untreated.
World Diabetes Day is about combating the increasing rates of diabetes across the world as well as raising awareness about the symptoms for people to keep an eye out for their family and friends.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have rounded up diabetes into a few facts and figures to give a realistic scope on the condition and what people NEED to know if they know someone who may be suffering with diabetes.
- Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
- Type 1 diabetes is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. The cause of type 1 diabetes is not known and it is not currently preventable. Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes may occur suddenly and include excessive excretion of urine (polyuria), thirst (polydipsia), constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes and fatigue.
- Type 2 diabetes results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes comprises the majority of people with diabetes around the world, and is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.
- Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may be similar to those of type 1 diabetes, but are often less noticeable. As a result, it can go undiagnosed for several years, and sometimes after the condition has already caused further complications.
- Diabetes is on the rise across the world, with the number of people living with the condition rising from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014.
- The global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age has risen from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 8.5 percent in 2014.
- Until recently, type 2 diabetes was seen only in adults but it is now also occurring increasingly frequently in children.
- Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.
- In 2015, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. WHO projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030.
- However type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with some simple lifestyle changes, including maintaining a healthy body weight, taking part in at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days, eating a healthy diet, avoiding sugar and saturated fats, and avoiding smoking, which increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
- Diabetes can also be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, stopping smoking, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.
- A simple blood sugar test can help diagnose the condition earlier and therefore help sufferers start an effective treatment earlier to avoid complications
At Speccies, we truly appreciate the nature of diabetes and want our patients to feel comfortable and aware of the condition. Although diabetes can have adverse effects on the body, it can especially attack the eyes with a variety of conditions.
Early diagnosis is vital. Most sight-threatening diabetic problems can be managed if diagnosed early enough so it is crucial for you to see a doctor or eye health professional as soon as you experience changes in the general health of your eyes or as soon as you have been diagnosed with diabetes or experience the symptoms.
Today is not just about raising awareness but it’s also educating you to take action and be proactive about your health.
If you are suffering from diabetes or have any eye health-related concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us today at one of our Farnborough branch.
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