Just like we colored the world pink in October, promoting awareness on breast Cancer, this time around, how about taking selfies in a blue ring in raising diabetes awareness? As we are almost concluding the month of November we also conclude the international Diabetes awareness month, but it does not end here we go yonder until we all bring enough attention to this condition.
The World Health Organization also revealed that 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, particularly in low and middle income countries and is labeled as one of the leading causes of death in the world with 1.5 million deaths attributes to it each year and for the past decades and the prevalence has been increasing steadily. However, many people across the globe do not have access to diabetes care, and WHO has taken an initiative to increase its response to increasing burden of diabetes by launching the Global Diabetes Compact in April 2021 in a surge to reduce diabetes and ensuring that all people who are diagnosed with this condition have access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable and quality treatment and care as people living with diabetes need ongoing care and support to avoid complications.
More so, there are 2 main types of Diabetes, Type 1 which is caused by lack of insulin, we talked about this one in one of our previous articles and now we will just highlight Type 2 which is caused by ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes is explained by Mayo Clinic (2021) as an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses Sugar (glucose) as a fuel. It is mainly caused by two interrelated problems.
- Cells in muscles fat and the liver become resistant to insulin, because the cells don’t interact in a normal way with insulin, they do not take in sugar. Or
- The pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to manage, blood sugar levels.
There also is another factor of Genetics, ones risks increases if your parent or sibling has type two diabetes. Race and Ethnicity cannot be ruled out as well as some races are at more risk than some. Age can also contribute, when one is over 45 their chances of getting type two diabetes gets high. As much as bringing babies in the world is a beautiful thing it also has its pecks, if one is pregnant and develops gestational diabetes or if your baby weighs more than 4kgs their chances of developing this diseases are very high. These are not all the cause, just but the common ones. Why this happens no one has answers but research points out to overweight and inactivity as key contributing factors.
This type is can be overly be present in child hood and adulthood but is mostly common in adults although there has been discovered that children with obesity are prone to get it. The symptoms are listed in the diagram above.
There is no cure so far for Type 2 of diabetes can cause a lot of complications as it affects major body organs. According to the Diabetes Association of Zimbabwe, most people succumb to diabetes unknowingly or in silence at home, hence the need for more awareness raising campaigns. The association also advised that the increased prevalence in the country has increased the rate of complications like kidney failure, amputations with an increased rate of mortality, blood vessels diseases, nerve damage mostly in limps, eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts leading to blindness, hearing impairment, sleep apnea and dementia but, the good news is that by making small healthy lifestyle changes like some indicated in the diagrams one could live long and beat Diabetes. There are a lot of things one can do but these are just but a few.
As Zimbabweans, we to ought to keep up the fight in advocating and raising awareness on this communicable diseases affecting Zimbabweans and the world at large.
Diabetic Association on a Nation Drive. www.mohcc.gov.zw/index.php?option=com_content and view=article & id=196: diabetic-association-on-a-nationwide-drive&care. Accessed on November 5 2021.
Diabetes, awareness, month 2021.www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health/outreach/national-diabetes-month.
Mayo Clinic. Type 2 Diabetes 2021. www.mayoclinic.org. Accessed 20 November 2022.
World health organization, Diabetes. https//www.who.int/health-topics/diabetes#tab=tab_1. Accessed on November 7, 2021.
World health organization. The whole global diabetes compact. https://www.who.int/initiativex/thr-who-global-diabetes-compact. Accessed on 14 November 2021.