World Diabetes Day 2019

Dr Th Premchand Singh
There is an epidemic of diabetes in all over the world, with some 425 million people or 8.8% of adults of 20-79 years, are estimated to have diabetes and about 79% of which  live in low and middle income countries. If these trends continue, by 2045, 693 million people 18-99 years, or 629 million of people 20-79 years, will have diabetes. The largest number of people with diabetes are in China, India and the United States in 2017. In the  year 2045,  India will have 134.3 millionpeople with diabetes overtaking China  with 114.4 million.
In view of the rapidly increasing prevalence of diabetes, International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and World Health Organization (WHO) observed World Diabetes Day on the 14th November every year from the year 1991. It marks the birthday of Frederick Banting, who, along with Charles Best, had the idea that the pancreas’ internal secretion holds the key to the treatment of diabetes and discovered insulin in 1922. In recognition of his great discovery, World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of United Nation Resolution 61/225. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance of  diabetes in the world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight.
Every year, the World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on a dedicated theme that runs for one or more years. This year marks the second year of a two year theme dedicated to “ The Family and Diabetes”. The tagline of the campaign this year is “Diabetes: Protect your Family”. International Diabetes Federation(IDF) is raising awareness of the impact that diabetes has on the family and promoting the role of the family in the prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes so as to prevent the deadly complications.
It is known that one in every two people  with diabetes is undiagnosed.Once  diagnosed timely treatment will prevent the complications of diabetes. Families are urged to find out their risk of type 2 diabetes  and learn more about the early symptoms  of diabetes. There is an increased risk of developing diabetes if someone has   family member with diabetes, obese, having sedentary life style and with history of diabetes during pregnancy.
    Many cases of diabetes as high as 50% of them can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle.  When a family eats healthy diet and exercise together all the family members benefit and help to prevent notonly  diabetes but also high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and even cancer. A diabetic diet is a good, balanced diet for everybody in the family, which is simply plenty of vegetables and fruits with less oil, salt and avoiding sugar and sweets. The whole family needs to be active and exercise together for a minimum of 30 minutes everyday. Exercise may be walking, jogging, skipping rope, swimming, cycling, dancing, engaging in some outdoor sport or gardening.
When there is a diabetic in the family, he / she needs the support of the whole family. He /she requires daily treatment with medicines and a balanced, healthy diet and regular exercise. Life style management is a very important part of diabetes management. Timely management of diabetes will prevent the development of multiple complications of diabetes. The family members need to know some basic knowledge about diabetes, symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels and management of these conditions at home.
In conclusion, family has a great role in prevention, early detection and  management of diabetes.
Proper management of diabetes helps a person with diabetes to lead a long and  healthy life and prevents from developing  complications related to diabetes, which may be of the heart, brain, kidney, nerves, eyes or any part of the body.
The writer is the President, North Eastern Diabetes Society, Manipur State Branch, Imphal and the President elect, North Eastern Diabetes Society, Head Office, Guwahati