World Diabetes Day: Protect Our Future

Today is World Diabetes Day and today marks the fifth and final year of the 2009 – 2013 campaign on ‘Diabetes Education and Prevention’.

Over the five years they have campaigned in local communities such as schools to provide education about diabetes. Their key message is “Protect Our Future”.

So, to raise awareness within Nottingham Trent this article contains information on what you need to know. According to the NHS one third of the population don’t know they have diabetes so give this a quick read when you’re next procrastinating.

What is World Diabetes Day?

The look to inspire and engage local communities to promote simple education and prevention messages and organise activities to strengthen recognition among the public that diabetes is a global health threat with serious and far-reaching consequences that affect us all.

It also aims to make more opportunities for diabetes education within healthcare systems and communities as most people with diabetes can’t access diabetes services because of cost or distance or may not even be aware of the services that exist.

Check online to see how the world is celebrating World Diabetes Day which includes lighting a monument or building blue in your town, village and city.

So what is diabetes?

Diabetes is one of the major health and development challenges of the 21st century. It is a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to help glucose enter the body’s cells or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly. Glucose needs to enter the body’s cells to give you energy so you can work, play and carry out day to day tasks.

There are two different types of Diabetes  – Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 is less common and is an autoimmune condition where your immune system mistakes the cells in the pancreas as harmful and attacks them.the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin. As no insulin is produced, your glucose levels increase, which can seriously damage the body’s organs. Therefore, you will need insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes is more common and is often associated with obesity. It is when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin, known as insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes can usually be treated with a healthy diet, however, it’s a progressive condition and may need to take medication in the form of tablets.

What are the warning signs of diabetes?

Frequent urination
Excessive thirst
Increased hunger
Weight loss
Lack of interest and concentration
Vomiting and stomach pain (often mistaken as the flu)
A tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet
Blurred vision
Frequent infections
Slow-healing wounds

*These can be mild or absent in Type 2 diabetes

If you show these signs, seek medical attention!

It  helps to be aware of the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, they include:

Obesity and overweight
Lack of exercise
Previously identified glucose intolerance
Unhealthy diet
Increased age
High blood pressure and high cholesterol
A family history of diabetes
A history of gestational diabetes
Ethnicity – higher rates of diabetes have been reported in Asians, Hispanics, Indigenous peoples (USA, Canada, Australia) and African Americans.

If you think you are at risk of type 2 diabetes, get tested! You can even do the Blue Circle Test online today to see if you’re at risk!

 If you’re doing anything for World Diabetes Day let us know on Facebook or Twitter!



Sophie Colquhoun