Yet again, the world of health and medical observes World Diabetes Day today. So much has been written and heard about this globally common disease – diabetes, all that high blood sugar and glucose. This World Diabetes Day 2017, WHO highlights women’s right to a healthy future. However, what actually is diabetes and how harmful it is. Know all about it.

What is diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterised by increase in the levels of blood sugar. There are types of diabetes.

The most common is type 2 diabetes, usually in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin.

Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself.

How diabetes damage the body

Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation.

Chronic diabetes can cause serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

Treatment for diabetes

For people living with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is critical to their survival.

Healthy diet, physical activity and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

In addition, diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with medication, regular screening and treatment for complications.

Ensuring such actions form part of the recommendations of WHO’s Global report on diabetes launched in 2016.

The World Diabetes Day 2017 campaign promotes affordable and equitable access for all women with diabetes or at risk of diabetes to the essential medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require to achieve optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthen their capacity to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Prevalence of diabetes across the world

WHO report states:

  1. In the past three decades, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels.
  2. As many as 422 million adults worldwide are suffering from diabetes, according to the latest global report on diabetes. And 1.6 million people die of diabetes.
  3. Around 205 million women  live with diabetes worldwide, over half in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific.
  4. During pregnancy high blood glucose substantially increases the risk to health for both mother and child as well as the risk of diabetes for the child in the future.
  5. Almost half of women who die in low-income countries due to high blood glucose die prematurely, before the age of 70 years.

In response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes, World Diabetes Day was first observed in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation with the support from the WHO. It became an official UN day in 2006.

Global health target:  To halt the rise in diabetes and obesity across the world by 2025.

Fruit diet plan for diabetes: Fruits play a major role and can go a long way in helping a diabetes patients condition from worsening. Doctors suggest including these fruits in daily diet plan for diabetes: Apple, berries, guava, amla, papaya and jamun, pomegranates and oranges.

Beverage plan for diabetes: Plenty of plain water, unsweetened tea and coffee, green or herbal tea and moderate amount of red wine.

New study on food for diabetes

A recent study by scientists in the French Institute of Health and Medical Research in France, found that people, who consume food rich in antioxidants, may observe a decrease in type 2 diabetes. The study confirmed that fruits, vegetables, dark chocolates, walnuts, prunes, blueberries, strawberries or hazelnuts and other hot beverages like coffee and tea suffice to the high antioxidants level required for the diabetes control. Also, moderate consumption of alcohol at times adds on to curbing the risk.