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  • Writer's pictureRichard Kadri-Langford

#WorldDiabetesDay: education to protect tomorrow - Looking to stem a rising epidemic

Some three and a half thousand years ago an Egyptian physician noted on a papyrus a condition which caused an individual to urinate frequently and to lose weight rapidly. According to the history of diabetes drawn up on the website, [1] that’s the first recorded instance of diabetes in the world.

Admittedly the history of human development, particularly that concerning medicine, has been somewhat up and down since then. But what is concerning is that, despite a steady rise in our understanding of the causes of diabetes in recent times, the incidence of diabetes is still on the rise.

In 1991 the World Health Organisation was so concerned about the increasing prevalence of diabetes that it announced that the 14th November would be designated as World Diabetes Day.

Two years later a Diabetes Control and Complications Trial reported that healthy eating and regular exercise could help in the management of Type 2 diabetes.

So why is it that thirty years on from the first World Diabetes Day, in 2021 a report revealed that ten per cent of the world’s population now lives with diabetes? Moreover, diabetes was responsible for an estimated 6.7 million deaths in 2021, ranking it amongst the top ten causes of global mortality.[2] And perhaps most worryingly of all, research has revealed that people who have had Covid are 40% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes in the following year with the risk increasing with the severity of the Covid infection. [3]

It’s little wonder therefore that the theme for World Diabetes Day is ‘education to protect tomorrow.’ [4]

We may not yet have a permanent cure for diabetes but if we are able to help people to understand some of the trigger factors then we may be able to prevent diabetes from developing and mitigate some of its most deadly outcomes. And when you consider that diabetes can lead to a host of secondary diseases across the body including heart and kidney problems and blindness, then the more that it can be prevented the better.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, understanding diabetes is the first step towards managing and preventing the condition.

This increased understanding affects all of us; from healthcare professionals and existing diabetic patients and their families to those whose current lifestyle choices could trigger diabetes in the future. When we understand or are aware of the consequences of obesity, lack of exercise, excessive drinking or one of the other factors which can trigger Type 2 Diabetes it might just help us to make better lifestyle choices today that could result in a healthier tomorrow.

Have you or someone close to you been diagnosed or affected by diabetes? Then join our community to stay up to date with not only our progress but also news and updates in the diabetes space.

To bring awareness to diabetes, the team here at Occuity are delighted to support the International Diabetes Federation's campaign to "Nail Diabetes". Our teams got together to highlight the fact that we are all likely to know someone affected by the disease, and members of the team painted their nails blue to support the campaign, and get people talking in the cafes and shops we visited throughout the day.

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