World Diabetes Day 2023 - History, Importance & How to Celebrate
Diabetes has become a challenging concern globally due to its rising prevalence in low and middle-income countries. Approximately 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014. The global prevalence of diabetes has almost doubled since 1980. As a result, it becomes crucial to raise awareness about this deadly disease. World Diabetes Day is commemorated on November 14 every year.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce sufficient amounts of insulin or when the body cannot utilise the insulin it produces effectively. This results in the accumulation of blood glucose levels resulting in hyperglycemia. The raised blood glucose levels result in three types of diabetes
- Type I Diabetes: This is also referred to as insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes. This condition is characterised by a lack of insulin production by the pancreas.
- Type II Diabetes: This was formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes. Type II diabetes occurs when the body cannot use the insulin it produces effectively and often results from excess body weight or physical inactivity.
- Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes is observed in pregnant women with no history of diabetes. It occurs due to insufficient production of insulin in the body. Women with increased insulin resistance even before pregnancy are more likely to have gestational diabetes. Reducing weight if you are overweight before pregnancy prevents the occurrence of this condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
Diabetes is often considered a silent killer because, in the majority of cases, the symptoms are not clear at primary or early stage. The disease is usually diagnosed when there is a case of stroke or heart attack. However, we must be aware of the early signs and symptoms of diabetes to reduce further complications and adverse health impacts.
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Tingling of hands and feet
- Unexplained fatigue
- Dry skin
Understanding World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day is celebrated globally to raise awareness of the health impacts of diabetes and its rising number of cases. Diabetes not only affects physically but also mentally and affects the quality of life. In India, approximately, 101 million people are living with diabetes. It impairs the health care system and badly affects the human resources of the nation. It becomes crucial to understand diabetes and its symptoms.
History of World Diabetes Day
Frederick Banting and John Macleod discovered a treatment that included insulin 100 years ago and won the Nobel prize, saving millions of lives. World Diabetes Day was first organised in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organisation to raise awareness about the health impacts diabetes has on people. World Diabetes Day became official in 2006 with the passage of United Nations Resolution 61/225. Since then, it is celebrated on the 14th of November every year to mark the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1992.
Significance of World Diabetes Day
Diabetes has become a global epidemic affecting millions of people, deteriorating quality of life, and burdening the nation's healthcare system. Diabetes cases have increased from 4.7 to 8.5 per cent in the adult population globally and its prevalence has almost doubled. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and lower limb amputations. According to a study, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths globally. In India, diabetes has seen a surge in numbers with a mortality rate of 27.45 per 100,000 population. Therefore, World Diabetes Day is crucial to raise awareness, provide treatment and healthcare education, and eradicate the disorder globally.
World Diabetes Day Theme 2023
The theme of World Diabetes Day 2023 is “Access to Diabetes Care” The 2023 campaign primarily focuses on the need to know your risk of type II diabetes and understanding the preventive measures to delay or prevent the condition. We must know about the complications related to diabetes and correct diagnosis and treatment for timely management of the disease.
Key Points of World Diabetes Day Theme 2023
- Millions of people around the world do not have access to diabetes care and therefore it becomes important to make the resources available to each corner of the world
- People with diabetes require ongoing care and support to manage their condition. This is crucial to avoid complications related to full-blown diabetes.
- Medicine, care, and technology must be available to people around the world
- Government must take action to prevent and raise awareness about the deadly disease that affects millions of people and their quality of life.
Objectives of World Diabetes Day 2023
Although diabetes can be managed and the fatality could be reduced, it is still incurable and requires daily medication and management. Therefore, it is crucial to commemorate this day and raise awareness of the importance of healthcare education and resources to fight this epidemic.
Encourage early diagnosis:
Early diagnosis is critical because the condition can be easily managed or even reversed at its early stage. This requires routine blood check-ups to monitor blood glucose levels.
Diabetes can be reversed or its onset can be delayed with preventative steps. These include managing body weight, following a healthy diet, avoiding junk food, and practising regular exercise or workouts.
Awareness of infections:
Diabetes lowers the immune system and makes the body prone to infection. As a result, people affected with diabetes are prone to urinary tract infections, ear and throat infections, fungal infections, and skin infections. Awareness of the signs and symptoms of infection and treatment reduces the risk of complications, such as amputations and blindness.
Providing medicines and technology:
Diabetes cases are rising in lower and middle-class populations of developing and poor countries. It is estimated that treatment and medicines for diabetes cost around $9,601 per individual on average. Hence, providing access to medicines and treatment technologies to each affected individual becomes crucial.
Access to diabetes care:
Diabetes care refers to medicines, technologies, and healthcare professionals handling patients with diabetes. The main objective is to give access to all parts of the world with basic and advanced healthcare infrastructure to tackle disorders and complications.
Improve overall health:
World Diabetes Day not only focuses on preventing diabetes but also encourages people to maintain a healthy lifestyle with healthy food habits, quitting drinking and smoking, and including regular physical activities.
Global Impact of Diabetes
Diabetes is a global medical emergency affecting millions of adults. In 2021, approximately half of the 537 million adults were unaware of the fact that they had diabetes. Since global cases are expected to rise to 783 million by 2045, it is essential to discuss and raise awareness of the global impact of diabetes.
- Comorbidities: Poorly managed diabetes can lead to a rise in comorbidities and early death. Comorbidities, such as eye disease, cardiovascular disease, nerve and kidney damage, and lower limb amputations, affect the quality of life in patients and complicate their cases.
- Diabetes-related spending: Individuals with diabetes have to get proper and continual medication and treatment for their condition. This becomes challenging and sometimes impossible in developing and poor countries with substantial health infrastructure and government policies.
- Burdened healthcare system: Since diabetes has no cure, patients require treatments throughout their lives. This results in burdening the nation's healthcare system.
- Quality of life: Comorbidities associated with diabetes affect the quality of life. Mental stability is also affected in individuals who are fighting with their condition, such as amputated legs.
- Rise in cardiovascular diseases: Diabetes affects the cardiovascular system and as a result, there is a sharp upsurge in heart attacks and strokes with the rise in diabetes globally. This results in fatality.
Diabetes Prevention and Awareness
Diabetes can be prevented and even reversed if early diagnosed. Half of the diabetic patients have no idea about their diabetic condition as a result of a lack of awareness. Preventative steps are easier and more effective than most treatments. We must be aware of the preventative steps to tackle the issue.
- Check your carbohydrate and sugar consumption
- Include fibres with meals, such as avocados, berries, whole grain, dried fruits, and apple
- Take supplements to manage blood glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, and metabolism.
- Quit smoking as smoking enhances insulin resistance.
- Regular exercise of at least 30 minutes daily
- Eat in smaller portions than heavy meals
- Regularly monitor your cholesterol levels. Ideally, the cholesterol level should be below 100.
- Manage blood pressure with a low-sodium diet and stress management
- Avoid aerated soft drinks which increase the risk of type II diabetes
- Lose extra weight. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of diabetes by 60%
- See a doctor if you are above 45, obese, or have prediabetes or gestational diabetes.
- Participate in awareness programs and campaigns in your city or community.
Supplements to prevent and manage diabetes
Natural supplements, such as NMN and trans resveratrol are potent supplements that help manage and prevent diabetes by regulating diabetes-causing metabolic disorders.
NMN and its role in preventing diabetes:
Studies suggest that NMN promotes NAD+ biosynthesis and effectively regulates normal blood glucose levels. Japanese research has suggested the role of NMN in an increase in blood sugar insulin levels. It also enhances insulin sensitivity in prediabetic women.
Trans resveratrol and diabetes:
Study has shown that Trans-resveratrol is effective in managing blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, improving lipid profile and modulating hypertension and chronic inflammation. This supplement can help manage the onset of diabetes and help delay or reverse it.
Decode Age Trans Resveratrol is extracted from Japanese knotweed and helps in modulating sugar metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and improving cardiovascular health.
World Diabetes Day Celebration Ideas
World Diabetes Day is the World’s largest diabetes campaign that is celebrated to raise awareness about the life-threatening disorder and also to provide resources and make treatment accessible to each affected individual globally. All across the globe, several activities are held in which you can participate or get involved virtually to support the global campaign.
- Physical activity: You can participate in workout activities, such as yoga, Zumba, callisthenics, and marathons. In Costa Rica, on World Diabetes Day, a master zumba class is being held on November 7.
- Exhibition: Get involved in the awareness exhibition, meeting, or fair happening around the world or in your city. You can participate in such exhibitions and gain knowledge about the impacts of diabetes on the population and preventive measures.
- Participate in risk assessment tool: You can participate in the risk assessment or make other individuals take the risk assessment to know their risk of type II diabetes. Half of Type II diabetes cases diagnosed include individuals who were unaware of their condition.
- Educational courses: Take an educational course to understand the disease and preventive steps free of cost through IDF School of Diabetes.
- Share your story: You can share your story using a diabetes blue circle online and help others know that they are not alone in this battle and be an inspiration.
- Organise an event: You can organise an event at a community level, at school, or at a workplace to raise awareness of diabetes.
World Diabetes Day Events
Several events are happening on World Diabetes Day in India and across the world. You can participate in these events and share the events with your friends and family and spread the word of awareness.
- Hello Diabetes Screen and Educational Program: It is happening in Nagpur on November 4, 2023. The program is held in a park where you can participate in a group yoga session followed by a free screening of diabetes.
- Hello Diabetes Mission Education: The event is held in a workplace and talks about the importance of maintaining a healthy glucose level.
- World Diabetes Day event: It is an awareness campaign of medical professionals and held in Kolkata from 11th November to 13th November.
- Screen to protect: The event is happening in Nagpur on November 26 where as many as 1000 individuals will be screened for diabetes, hypertension, and sarcopenia.
- November no sugar challenge: The event is happening in Bangalore from November 1 to November 30 and is hosted by the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India-Karnataka chapter.
World Diabetes Day serves as the global forum to raise awareness about the growing diabetes epidemic and its impact on individuals and healthcare systems. Diabetes affects the quality of life. The prevalence of diabetes is on the rise, and we must educate ourselves about the impacts and preventative measures. Early diagnosis is critical in diabetes as it can help delay the onset of the condition or even reverse it. The 2023 theme, "Access to Diabetes Care," emphasises the importance of providing resources and support to individuals worldwide. We must unite and fight against this life-threatening disorder, encouraging a healthier lifestyle through various awareness campaigns and events.
World Diabetes Day, 2023. Diabetes.org.Uk
Know your risk, know your response. WorldDiabetesDay.Org
World Diabetes Day 14 November. UN.org
About World Diabetes Day, 14 November
Diabetes: The Silent Killer, Medicoverhopsitals.in
The Global Impacts of Diabetes
World Diabetes Day 2021: Access to Medicines and care
Infections in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus,
Diabetes Prevention: 5 Tips for Taking Control
Nanjan MJ, Betz J. Resveratrol for the Management of Diabetes and its Downstream Pathologies. Eur Endocrinol. 2014 Feb;10(1):31-35. doi: 10.17925/EE.2014.10.01.31. Epub 2014 Feb 28. PMID: 29872461; PMCID: PMC5983094.
- Is diabetes curable?
No, diabetes has no cure but proper treatment and medication help manage the disease and reduce the risk of further complications.
- Is diabetes a deadly disease?
Diabetes is a major reason for heart attacks, kidney failures, and stroke-related deaths globally; however, early diagnosis and management help manage diabetes and stop it from becoming deadly or fatal.
- When is World Diabetes Day celebrated?
World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14.
- How can I know if I have diabetes?
You can take a risk assessment test or get your blood glucose and cholesterol level checked routinely to know your diabetes status.
- What does blood glucose level mean for diabetes?
A fasting blood glucose level should be between 70 and 100 mg/dl. A fasting blood glucose level of more than 126 means you are diabetic. Certain medication also elevates blood glucose level that settles down within a month. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking a glucose level test.
- Can I reverse diabetes?
Type II diabetes can be reversed or its onset delayed with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and quitting smoking.
- What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Tingling of hands and feet, excessive thirst, weight loss, frequent urination, and irritability are some of the early signs of diabetes.
- How can I manage my blood glucose level?
Eat small portions instead of large meals, do not skip breakfast, have fibres in your diet, avoid carbonated drinks, eat healthily, and check your sugar intake.