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537 million adults are living with diabetes across the world. That’s 1 in every 10 people¹. It’s very likely that there’s someone who you know who’s affected.
World Diabetes Day (WDD) falls every year on 14 November. It’s a day when millions of people around the world come together to raise awareness of diabetes and what it’s really like to live with the condition. It’s a global campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) with activities taking place around the world.
This year’s theme is: Access to Diabetes Care: If Not Now, When? The theme aims to raise awareness of the millions of people around the world who don’t have access to the essential diabetes care they need. Medicines, technologies, support and care should be made available to everyone who requires them.
In honour of World Diabetes Day 2021, we’re shining a light on the condition and looking at the different types of diabetes and how you can help those around you who are suffering.
Type 1 or 2 – What’s the difference?
Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent): is typically developed as a child or young adult, and is a disease that destroys pancreatic cells meaning no insulin production is possible.
Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes): is considerably more common and typically affects people over the age of 45, who are also overweight. Those suffering from type 2 are unable to produce enough insulin causing sugar builds up in the bloodstream.
Type 1 is typically diagnosed earlier as the symptoms occur quickly. Type 2 on the other hand is can be easier to miss as the symptoms are harder to spot and they develop more slowly. Early diagnosis and treatment of type 2 diabetes will reduce the risk of serious complications. The good thing is that up to 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
There are several factors that increase the risk of diabetes. It’s important that we all learn about these risk factors so we can look after our long-term health. You’re more at risk of type 2 diabetes if:
Reducing your risk
There are ways you can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Moving more – getting active and moving your body is key to preventing Type 2 diabetes. Exercising will help to reduce your waist size and blood pressure, which are both contributing risk factors. You’ll also improve your mood, stress levels and sleeping patterns as a result.
Eating well – Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors that will increase your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. Choosing a diet of high fibre carbs including fruit, veggies, chickpeas and milk is recommended. It’s also good to choose drinks without added sugar and cut down on red and processed meats where you can.
¹ International Diabetes Federation, 2021: https://worlddiabetesday.org
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