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World Diabetes Day 2020: Date, Theme, History & Significance

11 November, 2020

World Diabetes Day has a great significance as it spread global awareness that is focused on diabetes mellitus. Every year on the 14 th of November, the world rises to a unique day amidst a mass global awareness campaign on diabetes mellitus, which is marked by the World Diabetes Day. The event is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Awareness is largely promoted on various topics associated with diabetes and the related treatment, prevention and precaution. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented and it is easy to manage this type of diabetes by means of insulin injections as prescribed by doctors. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and also treated effectively to continue living a normal life. Unfortunately, the numbers of diabetic patients are increasingly at an exponential rate all across the globe.Thus, increased education and awareness is the need of the hour. On World Diabetes Day, awareness is spread about imbibing a healthy lifestyle, human rights of people with diabetes, relation of diabetes to obesity and issues relating to diabetes in children and adolescents. Spread of diabetes among the vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of the community are also taken into purview.

Theme

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2020 is 'World Diabetes Day: Nurses make a difference'. Thus, in the year 2020, the World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on acknowledging and promoting the important role played by nurses in their efforts towards prevention and management of diabetes. Nurses are usually the first point of contact for patients and the Diabetic Specialist Nurses contribute immensely to the cause of diabetes control and prevention by offering good patient care and also by advising self-care management. Education and funding play a sustainable role in supporting the healthcare providers and go a long way in the fight against diabetes.

History

The day 14th November has been specifically chosen for diabetes associated awareness campaign. This day also marks the birthday of Frederick Banting, who conceived the idea of insulin in association with two other scientists Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod back in the year 1922, at the University of Toronto. This conception finally led to the discovery of the medical wonder of insulin, a major milestone and breakthrough in the medical history of diabetes and medicine. The discovery led to revolutionizing the therapy and prognosis of diabetes.

By 2016, World Diabetes Day had gained significant popularity and started being celebrated by more than 230 IDF member associations across a humongous 160 countries. This day started being acknowledged by plenty of other organizations, healthcare companies and professionals. Even politicians and celebrities as well as other famous personalities started coming forth to mark the occasion and extend their steadfast support to the cause. These programmes have helped the people with diabetes and their families a lot in different ways, as the awareness programme include activities such as diabetes screening programmes, media campaigns through radio, television channels and print media, sports events and live shows. There are various talk shows and interviews with health practitioners to deal with the growing issues related to diabetes and for better clarity and prevention of related misconceptions.

Significance of celebrating World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day is celebrated every year on the 14 November to commemorate the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who has been chiefly instrumental in co-discovering insulin in association with two other prominent co-founders, Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod,in the year 1922. World Diabetes Day was conceptualized in the year 1991 by the organizations such as IDF and the WHO to address the multiplying issues and concerns related to various health threats posed by diabetes.

The efforts of the various organizations and healthcare workers along with diabetes patients and their family are focused on creating a greater audience for listening to the concerns of the health issues of the diabetics. It also tries to generate mass awareness through campaigning for prevention and control of diabetes.

The purpose of marking this day as the World Diabetes Day is to educate people on how diabetes impacts the lives of people, to organize funding for research, to garner public support for legislation issues, teaching and training people on how to tackle this challenging disease, and how you can live well and chase your dreams even being a diabetic. The mental and physical well-being of the people with diabetes remains the focus of this day. Considerable efforts have also been made to raise funds for providing life-saving supplies, services and education to people with diabetes as a part of the World Diabetes Day celebrations.

Tips to Control Diabetes

High blood sugar levels in the blood signify that the body is no longer able to effectively transport sugar from blood into the cells. When left unattended, this condition leads to diabetes. In this hi-tech age of less physical exercise and more brain work, an alarming rise in number of diabetes and pre-diabetes adults have been noticed. There are some natural ways to reduce blood sugar levels that are easy to practice in daily life. Let us look at some ways to control and prevent diabetes.

  1. Regular exercise: Regular exercise helps in controlling diabetes by releasing insulin and keeping body weight under control. Muscular movements during physical exercise uses up sugar in blood. Some simple exercises to keep prevent developing diabetes are brisk walking, running, swimming, dancing, biking, etc.
  2. Controlling carbohydrate intake: Carbs break down to sugar which is then moved to the cells from the blood. Too much of carb intake leads of increased sugar level in blood which leads to problems in insulin functioning and hence leads to diabetes. Planned balanced meals prescribed by dietician and taken at regular intervals can be effective in controlling and preventing diabetes.
  3. Keeping body weight under control: A healthy body weight helps reduce the chances of developing diabetes and also controls the level of blood sugar levels in the body. It also keeps the body active and fit.
  4. Increasing fibre intake: Eating more of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains increases fibre intake of the body. Fibres slow down sugar digestion of carbohydrates and absorption of sugar and thus help in lowering sugar levels in blood.
  5. Eating small portions at regular intervals: It is possible to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by controlling the eating portions. Eat at regular intervals so that you are never too hungry, which might often lead to overeating. This also keeps body weight under control and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  6. Controlling stress and strain: Stress and strain are both inducers of hormones such as glucagon and cortisol which result in higher levels of sugar in the blood. Regular physical exercises, yoga and meditation can help reduce mental stress.
  7. Drinking enough water: Water keeps the body hydrated, prevents dehydration and promotes flushing out of excess sugar in the blood through healthy kidney functioning.
  8. Adequate sleep: Sleeping undisturbed for required hours helps abate the risk of developing diabetes. Irregular sleeping habits increase cortisol levels thereby increasing the chances of developing blood sugar.
  9. Including chromium and magnesium in food: Chromium and magnesium are believed to control sugar levels in blood. Thus, including these in diet may lead to reduced risk of diabetes.
  10. Including apple cider vinegar and cinnamon extract in diet: Apple cider vinegar is known to be instrumental in lower fasting blood sugar levels and cinnamon is said to improve insulin sensitivity. Thus both act as deterrents to the risk of developing diabetes.

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