The month of November is the Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 is the World Diabetes Day, but how many of us know about this campaign? Probably a lot of us are not aware that there is such movement every November.
I, too, wasn’t aware of it until one of the organizers in the Educational Investments event approached me this morning and asked me if I dyed my hair blue because of the Diabetes Awareness Month. Unaware of the cause, I told her ‘no.’ While she already had an idea about my answer, she patiently explained about the campaign, telling me that most people that she knew have colored their hair with a blue dye in support of the advocacy. Although she didn’t dye her hair, she was wearing a blue circle pin- the universal symbol for diabetes as her son has been diabetic and under medications for the past thirteen years. In the end, she asked me if I could post my photo in blue hair and tell about the Diabetes Awareness Month, which I gladly agreed. So now, I am writing a full post about it as I want to support the advocacy and educate people about diabetes.
What is diabetes?
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin (hormones that regulate blood sugar). Without insulin, the sugar in our blood cannot be transformed into energy that can cause complications like Diabetic Ketoacidosis, which can be a serious and life-threatening disease. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune condition, which is “neither preventable nor curable and while its cause is unknown, studies suggest that T1D results from a genetic predisposition, typically combined with an environmental trigger.” On the other hand, type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance happens when the body cannot use the insulin well causing the glucose to stay in the blood and can damage the entire body. Risk factors such as obesity, unhealthy lifestyle, lack of physical activity, smoking and genetic predisposition (found in UAE research) can cause type 2 diabetes (source: www.beyondtype1.org).
Type 1 Symptoms
- Unquenchable thirst
- Frequent urination
- Unexplained bedwetting
- Unwanted or unexplained weight loss
- Less energy
- Fruity smelling breath
- Blurry vision
- Stomach pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of consciousness
- Rapid, heavy breathing
Type 2 Symptoms
- Being very thirsty
- Urinating often
- Feeling very hungry or tired
- Losing weight without trying
- Having sores that heal slowly
- Having blurry eyesight
What should be done if any of those symptoms appear?
If any of those symptoms appear, the best thing to do is to consult a physician and conduct a blood test to determine the level of sugar in one’s blood. Diabetes can be managed through healthy eating, physical activity, regular blood glucose testing and taking diabetic medicines. It is always best to follow the doctor’s advice when diagnosed with diabetes.
World Diabetes Day
Established by the International Diabetes Federation in 1991, the World Diabetes Day is being celebrated around the globe every 14th of November, which is also the birthday of insulin co-discoverer Dr. Frederick Banting. It is founded in order to create awareness about the disease.
The Blue Circle
The Blue Circle is used as the universal symbol for diabetes, which represents the color of the sky and unity. It is also known as “Unite for Diabetes” symbol (source: Health Line).
How to show support?
We can join discussions and activities that many diabetes-related organizations have arranged in order for us to understand diabetes. We can also donate to raise funds for diabetes researches and help people battling the same disease. We can also create awareness and show our support by wearing the Blue Circle pin or ribbon or dye our hair blue.
For more information about diabetes or about the campaign, please visit the following links: