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World Diabetes Day 14 November

Updated on May 4, 2011

History of World Diabetes Day

The United Nations(UN) declared November 14 World Diabetes Day following a resolution passed in 2006. The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Frederick Banting, the Ontario doctor who discovered insulin in 1921. The occasion aims to raise awareness of diabetes, its prevention and complications and the care that people with the condition need. World Diabetes Day was first commemorated on November 14, 2007.

The International Diabetes Federation estimates that 285 million people around the world now suffer from diabetes, up from 150 million scarcely 10 years ago. If nothing is done, this figure could reach 435 million by 2030. These figures confirm that diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the world today.

The World Diabetes Day slogan is “Understand Diabetes and Take Control through Empowering Education”. It is crucial that diabetics and their families be educated on the importance of understanding and managing diabetes.

Who Leads The Campaign?

The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation and its member associations around the world, including the American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Australia, Diabetes UK, Diabetes South Africa,  the Canadian Diabetes Association, Diabetic Association of India and the Diabetes New Zealand.

These organizations arrange events at local, national and international levels. Although the primary objective of events held on World Diabetes Day is to educate the public there are also a number of events that are held for the purpose of raising money to fund research projects in treatment of diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is the common name for a range of conditions including diabetes mellitus type one and diabetes mellitus type two, diabetes insipidus and gestational diabetes. The treatment of diabetes will depend not only on the type of diabetes but also on the severity. Treatment can include dietary measures, weight loss, injected or inhaled insulin or oral medication.

Failing to manage diabetes can lead to serious complications including blindness, heart disease, strokes, kidney disease nerve damage and amputations, leading to disability and premature death. Well managed diabetes is the key to success and diabetics should be educated on taking control of their illness.

Education and prevention are the themes chosen for the year’s big day for diabetes – World Diabetes Day on November 14.

Currently there is no known way to prevent Type 1 Diabetes but there are known lifestyle factors associated with Type 2 Diabetes. It is suggested that there is a link between the obesity epidemic and the increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by obesity or junk food and is an autoimmune disease. Insulin cannot cure diabetes but people with Type 1 Diabetes cannot survive without insulin.

Diabetes Self-Management Kit
Diabetes Self-Management Kit

Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes can and often does go undiagnosed because the symptoms can seem harmless and oftentimes normal.

Some diabetes symptoms include:

Type 1 Diabetes Symptoms

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abnormal hunger
  • Irritability
  • Increased fatigue
  • Blurry vision

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts or sores that are slow to heal
  • Itchy skin, yeast infections
  • Frequent Urination
  • Unexplained pain in the legs

Dangers of Undetected Diabetes

The onset of these symptoms is usually abrupt, developing over a period of a few days. The symptoms may be milder and develop over a longer  period in older people. Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes is important and if you experience any of or a combination of the above symptoms it is recommended that you visit your doctor to determine whether you are suffering from diabetes.

The danger of missing these early symptoms is that if left untreated it can lead to a life-threatening condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis where the acute lack of insulin caused by the disease increases the blood glucose to extremely high levels. This causes a reaction in the body which results in acidic and toxic ketones in the blood which in combination with dehydration as a result of the high glucose can lead to a coma.  

With early diagnosis and treatment, this complication of uncontrolled diabetes may be avoided

Dedicated to the Memory of My Loving Father

This article is dedicated to my loving father who passed away at the age of 78 in 2001. He was a type 2 diabetic who unfortunately was not very good at managing his illness at the onset. By the time he had disciplined himself to following the correct diet it was too late. During his illness his foot was amputated and a few months later his leg was amputated.

He was confined to a wheelchair as he found it difficult to walk with his prosthesis. As the disease progressed he experienced more and more complications. Two months before his death he had a massive stroke and after that a few more in quick succession. He eventually fell into a coma and died of double pneumonia but the actual killer disease was diabetes.

I urge everyone that has diabetes to manage and control the disease with proper medication under the guidance of a physician. Uncontrolled diabetes is a debilitating disease and can cause premature death.

World Day Diabetes Video


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    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for the sympathy Paradise.

      I agree with what you say. If people take responsibility and follow the doctors orders they can live a full life and minimize the chances of complications setting in. I doubt whether it is always easy though. More so if you develop the disease late in life. I can not imagine what I would feel like if I was told that I can't eat chocolates anymore! It would take a large amount of self discipline to stick to that rule!

      Thanks for dropping by.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good hub, Laura. There are so many people in the US who suffer from this illness, but on the surface of things, it appears the doctors can help the patient to manage it and live a normal life.

      I have an uncle who is diabetic, and now has to take insulin, though for years it was managed through diet. He's well into his eighties, so a lot depends on the individual and what kind of treatments and doctor's advice is available.

      I'm sure you miss your dad, Laura, and you have my sympathy.

    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks RNMSN

      Thanks for dropping by and for sympathizing.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 8 years ago from Tucson, Az

      well done!!very succinct and insightful information Laura/my dad diedd last Sept/ ca of lungs/ I miss him as I am sure you miss your dad. love to you

    • Laura du Toit profile image

      Laura du Toit 8 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Georgia Kevin

      I found an article relating to your query. Here is the link;

      According to this study there is not sufficient evidence to link diabetes to autism in children.

    • Georgiakevin profile image

      Georgiakevin 8 years ago from Central Georgia

      Why is there such an increase in cases? Is it possible that the increasing number of people who are diabetic has any correlation with the increasing number of babies born who are autistic?