Every year the World Health Organization (WHO) raises awareness about concerning health topics and trends. This year they are raising awareness about the alarming worldwide increase in the occurrence of diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease that affects the body’s ability to properly produce insulin and therefore convert sugar into energy. If not properly managed diabetes can lead to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Today, it is estimated that 350 million people around the world have diabetes, that number is projected to double over the next 20 years. Of those with diabetes 90% have Type 2 Diabetes; a preventable and reversible medical condition.
WHO would like encourage people everywhere to step up and beat diabetes with three important steps:
Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented by maintaining a healthy body weight, improving diet focusing on reducing the intake of processed/sugary foods and beverages, exercise (at least a thirty minute walk every day), and eliminating the use of tobacco products. By making healthier choices you can prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
Diagnosis & Treatment
The sooner diabetes is detected the sooner you and your healthcare team can work towards managing and if possible, reversing this condition. The better managed diabetes is the less likely any long term damage will occur.
Creating social awareness of the impact diabetes can have on individual health and the healthcare system is critical. Stakeholders at all levels; governments, healthcare providers, food producers, educators and individuals all have an important role to play in reducing the occurrence of diabetes.
To learn more about diabetes and what you can do to reduce its impact, visit www.who.int.