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World Diabetes Day – 14th of November

The word diabetes may not be something that brings you chills at first. Yes, it is so common that at least someone in your own family or if not, at least your neighbourhood aunty has it. So far, all that we are aware of is that it is just some kind of an increase in blood sugar, and if you get it, there is medication available. However, it is not something to let go of in such a manner. The alarming increase of diabetes, especially in young generations, shows the need for awareness about diabetes more than ever.

The word diabetes may not be something that brings you chills at first. Yes, it is so common that at least someone in your own family or if not, at least your neighbourhood aunty has it. So far, all that we are aware of is that it is just some kind of an increase in blood sugar, and if you get it, there is medication available. However, it is not something to let go of in such a manner. The alarming increase of diabetes, especially in young generations, shows the need for awareness about diabetes more than ever.

Usually, our blood sugar level is maintained by a cellular mechanism that turns sugar molecules, glucose in the blood into storable complex sugars, glycogen and vice versa. This mechanism works in both ways; when the blood sugar level increases, it signals the pancreas to release insulin hormone, which stimulates the reaction of turning glucose into glycogen, which results in reducing blood sugar levels. On the other hand, when blood sugar level decreases, it signals the pancreas to release glucagon, which works the opposite way. Usually, diabetes appears either when your body does not have enough insulin or when cells are not responding to the insulin hormone as they should be. This could happen when your body does not make enough insulin or if your body cells stop responding to insulin over some time.

There are three types of diabetes which are called Diabetes type 1, Diabetes type 2 and gestational diabetes (having diabetes while being pregnant). The first type is caused by an autoimmune reaction which means the body attacks its cells by mistake, making cells stop producing insulin. This is especially common among children, teens and young adults, and data shows that 5-10% of the total population with diabetes have this type. Patients with this type of diabetes need to have their daily dose of insulin through a vaccine to survive.

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, 90-95% of the total population has this type, which is caused by the decrease of response the cells show towards the insulin over the years. Early days this was only common in adults, but recently this has started to appear more and more within the young population as well. This type of diabetes can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle comprised of healthy eating patterns and regular exercising, which burns calories you built up in your body.

Gestational diabetes is a special type of diabetes that shows up in pregnant women who never had diabetes during their lifetime. This type of diabetes brings up the risk of the baby having diabetes or obesity when they are born or the mother getting type 2 diabetes later in their life.

Despite the fact that negligence and less awareness about the disease, the burning matter related to diabetes is that millions of people with diabetes around the world cannot access the care they need. Including the type 1 diabetes patients who need a daily dose of insulin, most of the other diabetes patients need medication and daily care. However, due to poverty or lack of needed medicines or facilities, most of them are still unable to receive the required treatments even with all the technological improvements and treatment methods the world is having access to right now.

‘Access to diabetes care’, the theme for the year 2021-2023 has been set with the purpose of finding a long-lasting solution to this lack of proper care for the millions of diabetes patients around the world. We all have a responsibility towards finding a definite solution to this disease which could be more dangerous to all of us in near future. So, let’s brace ourselves to win against this long-lasting enemy together with awareness and required prevention starting this world diabetes day 2021.

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