November 14 Marks World Diabetes Day. The Family and Diabetes

November 14 is World Diabetes Day (WDD). Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, as part of its annual calendar of observances would like to share some information with the community.

The 2018 theme for WDD is: “The Family and Diabetes.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), diabetes can be prevented and controlled.

Approximately 62 million people are living with type 2 diabetes in the Americas and need support from their families. “Many people with type 2 diabetes do not even know they have it.

“Support your family to understand the risk factors and signs/symptoms, and to seek prompt medical care if diabetes is suspected.
“Diabetes can be prevented through public health policies and lifestyle changes that support healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weights, and it can be controlled to prevent complications. If diabetes affects you or your family, make sure to follow a healthy lifestyle and adhere to treatment,” the WHO/PAHO reports.

Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the WHO in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.

WDD became an official United Nations Day in 2006 with the passage of United Nations Resolution 61/225.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.

According to IDF, there are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes and this total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040.

For more information about diabetes, consult your general practitioner or contact the Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten.