World Diabetes Day 2018

2018 World Diabetes Day, awareness, education, nursing, nurses, nursing student, students, public health, community health

Today is World Diabetes Day!

It was started in 1991 by the WHO and the International Diabetes Federation to help raise awareness about diabetes. 2006 marked the first year this awareness day was recognized as an official United Nations Day and is annually on Nov. 14th. This is also the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting who helped discover insulin in 1922. The aim of World Diabetes Day is to promote the International Diabetes Federation platform, coordinating actions against diabetes as a global health issue.

The theme for 2018 is Family and Diabetes!


This year’s theme brings attention to the impact of diabetes not only on the individuals struggling with this debilitating disease but on the families and friends who support them. It also encourages engagement in the management, care, prevention, and education in regards to diabetes.

Greater than 400 million people live with diabetes. To put this more in perspective, that's 1 in 11 people. Type 2 diabetes is the most common. There are several risk factors:

  • Being Overweight or Obese 
  • Unhealthy Diet
  • Not Exercising
  • Family History
  • High Blood Pressure

Many of these are preventable! We have to impress that upon our patients. It is not easy, but if they want to get off their medications and avoid the complications of diabetes, it’s something they need to do. Your hospital or clinic should have some information you can give to your patient for them to take home and implement into their daily lifestyle.

Fifty percent of individuals suffering from diabetes are not diagnosed. This is related to lack of public education regarding diabetes and its warning signs. Symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Excessive Thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Lack of Energy
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slow Healing Wounds
  • Numbness in Feet and Hands

These are especially true for Type 1 diabetics. Symptoms are sometimes hard to identify due to their mild nature or they may not present in this classic way at all.

Once someone is diagnosed, it can be expensive for the diabetic and their family. People can live healthy and productive lives with diabetes, but about 1 in 4 families don't have access to any kind of education program for support. Some basic needs that every family requires are:

  • Daily Treatment
  • Regular Monitoring
  • Healthy Diet and Lifestyle
  • Ongoing Education

You might be surprised by how many people you know that have pre-diabetes or outright diabetes. Tag your social media with #WDD2018 in support and help raise awareness. Please continue to monitor for next week’s post...

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