Every year, across the globe, hundreds upon thousands of people stand together on the 14th November to raise awareness about diabetes awareness day. From campaigns, lectures, activities, presentations, meetings and much more, the day has grown exponentially with people becoming more and more passionate about spreading the word about diabetes and its symptoms and condition.
According to research (www.diabetes.co.uk) approximately 1 in 16 people is affected by diabetes in the UK including undiagnosed patients. This is equivalent to over 4 million people living in the UK with the condition. For diabetes awareness day 2017, many of those suffering with the condition have come together to share their experiences – warts and all. Many wish they had done things a little differently and others simply saw the signs and symptoms but did not receive help as early as they could have done.
Diabetes Awareness Day is also recognised internationally as well as an official United Nations Day.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an extremely serious condition that can affect patients for the rest of their lives. The condition occurs when the amount of glucose [sugar] in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. If left untreated, which many people in the UK do, it can cause severe, life-threatening damages to the body.
Someone diagnosed with diabetes will usually fall under two categories of the condition. Diabetes UK split the two categories with the below descriptions:
Type 1 diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells, meaning no insulin is produced. This causes glucose to quickly rise in the blood.
- Nobody knows exactly why this happens, but science tells us it’s got nothing to do with diet or lifestyle.
- About 10 percent of people with diabetes have Type 1.
Type 2 diabetes
- In Type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, or the insulin it makes doesn’t work properly, meaning glucose builds up in the blood.
- Type 2 diabetes is caused by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Up to 58 percent of Type 2 diabetes cases can be delayed or prevented through a healthy lifestyle.
- About 90 percent of people with diabetes have Type 2.
What is diabetic eye disease?
Many patients do not understand the severity the diabetes condition can have on the overall health of the human body. Although diabetes – at first – can affect and attack certain areas of the body, the eye health is not exempt to its aggressive nature.
The NHS describe diabetic retinopathy as a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina) and it can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated.
Research shows us that by the year 2050, approximately 4.1 million people will suffer from sight loss in the UK. This is due to a variety of conditions but there is a substantial portion of that number who will lose their sight due to leaving their diabetic condition undiagnosed by a healthcare professional.
At Infocus Opticians, we stand with you on Diabetes Awareness Day 2017 to raise awareness about the condition and its deeply saddening effects on eye health. If you would like to find out more about diabetes, please click here