World Diabetes Day is the global community’s most extensive diabetes awareness campaign reaching an audience of over 1 billion people in more than 160 countries. The campaign draws attention to issues of great importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
The 2021-23 World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on “Access to Diabetes Care: If Not Now, When?” A century after its discovery, insulin and other fundamental components of diabetes care remain beyond the reach of many who need them. This must change. We stand with the call to action to ensure it reaches the people who need to hear it. You too can take part in the campaign and pledge your support.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems, such as heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems, and kidney disease. The good news is that with the proper knowledge and tools, you can take steps to prevent diabetes and manage it to live a normal life.
According to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an estimated 30.3 million people in the U.S (9.4% of the population) have diabetes. Worst yet, about 1 in 4 people with diabetes don’t know they have it. An estimated 84.1 million Americans aged 18 years or older have pre-diabetes. Take the prediabetes risk test.
Learn the differences between Diabetes Type 1 versus Type 2:
There are important differences between type 1 diabetes (~5% of persons) and type 2 diabetes (90-95% of persons). Other types, such as unusual genetic forms of diabetes, also exist. Diagnosing the type of diabetes is vital for appropriate medical treatment.
Some types of diabetes — like type 1 — are caused by factors that are out of your control. Others — like type 2 — can be prevented with better food choices, increased physical activity, and weight loss. Discuss potential diabetes risks with your doctor. If you’re at risk, have your blood sugar tested and follow your doctor’s advice for managing your blood sugar.
The first step to preventing type 2 diabetes is knowing your risk. Find out through this interactive test provided by the International Diabetes Federation.
When left untreated or unmanaged, diabetes can lead to life-changing complications. Fortunately, there is support and resources out there –with adequate information, you can help change the course of your own or someone else’s life. The NIDDK, along with many other organizations, provides overviews on diabetes prevention, symptoms, changes you can make in your diet and exercise routines, and managing the condition.
The first step in preventing diabetes is knowing your risk. Abarca stands committed to raising awareness of diabetes has on our communities by spreading awareness on the management, care, prevention, and education of diabetes.
*This blog was written by Lillian Colón-López, MPH, Pharm. D., Clinical Client Advisor at Abarca Health.