Ranjan K Baruah
One of the concerns for many of us at present is with the sugar level in our body. Whenever it comes to sugar we talk about diabetes. Globally, an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980. The global prevalence of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. This reflects an increase in associated risk factors such as being overweight or obese.
The International Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) Diabetes Atlas (2021) reports that 10.5% of the adult population (20-79 years) has diabetes, with almost half unaware that they are living with the condition. By 2045, IDF projections show that 1 in 8 adults, approximately 783 million, will be living with diabetes, an increase of 46%.
Over the past decade, diabetes prevalence has risen faster in low and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia).
We should know that diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation. Healthy diet, physical activity and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. In addition diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with medication, regular screening and treatment for complications.
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 61/225 designating 14 November as World Diabetes Day. The document recognized “the urgent need to pursue multilateral efforts to promote and improve human health, and provide access to treatment and health-care education.” The resolution also encouraged Member States to develop national policies for the prevention, treatment and care of diabetes in line with the sustainable development of their health-care systems.
The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is access to diabetes care. 100 years after the discovery of insulin, millions of people with diabetes around the world cannot access the care they need. People with diabetes require ongoing care and support to manage their condition and avoid complications.
A healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use are ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.
One side is a challenge as our lifestyle has made diabetes common amongst many of us. It also brings career opportunities for young people who want to work against diabetes or in managing and controlling diabetes. Careers that work with diabetes include nutrition specialists, instructors, and doctors. In this field, one may teach people how to test their blood sugar, educate them on the warning signs of diabetes, or study and research potential treatments.
To become doctors we have to study medicine or complete our MBBS and followed by PG level courses and specialists in diabetes. A diabetologist is a Doctor who specializes in the treatment of d diabetes. Apart from becoming doctors one may choose to study nursing or similar caregiving courses. Like doctors and nurses there are opportunities for diabetes educators who can generate awareness related to diabetes.
One may choose to become nutrition specialists as diet is very important to control or manage diabetes. Nutrition and dietetics is a branch that is related to fitness, health, and healthy eating and this can be one of the best options for those who want to work against diabetes. Together we can manage diabetes and young people may choose a career in this field.
(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor and skill trainer and can be reached at 8473943734 or [email protected]
for any career related queries)