World Diabetes Day

I’m on my high horse about Diabetes again for this blog.  Yes, someone I love has diabetes and next Monday 14 November is World Diabetes Day.

Imagine having to give yourself multiple needles per day – could you do it?

Imagine being told you have to do this for the rest of your life – this is not a temporary arrangement.

Take a minute to consider there are no ‘days off’ or ‘holidays’ from diabetes.

Imagine someone questioning why you need to worry so much about your blood glucose levels – I’m guilty of this, but the other way around – I have been more worried with the lack of concern for the blood sugar than the person with the diabetes!  I promise though it has been out of genuine concern!  I can imagine my loved one’s inside face was just like Elmo’s (in the picture) though?!

FACT:  Diabetes is a Chronic Disease – it is persistent and relentless.

Each day there is so much to think of as a person with diabetes – so much so that it is or can be ‘hard work’ just to keep it under control.

Do you know a person with diabetes?  Have you ever respectfully asked them what their condition means to them and how it affects their everyday?  By having a greater level of understanding about the condition, it allows us to increase our awareness of why their self-care is so important.

So this World Diabetes Day – Monday 14 November – take some time to:

  • recognise that diabetes management can be exhausting (as with any chronic disease) and
  • acknowledge those with this condition and maybe even, if appropriate, praise them for dealing with diabetes, every, single day.

 

Featured Image Credit- http://insulinnation.com/wpcontent/uploads/2015/09/Anger_meme_620px.jpg

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The best you can be.

In the last blog, I talked about knowing your chronic disease risk factors. For most people, this will have been put in the ‘that doesn’t apply to me box…..  It seems bringing up the issue was quite timely!  (Yay, I got something right!)

It was right, because it was World Health Day last Thursday and it was solely dedicated to targeting and ‘beating’ diabetes.  FYI  Diabetes is one of the chronic diseases with lifestyle risk factors I was referring to!

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to give a massive pat on the back to anyone who lives with diabetes.  It is relentless and unforgiving for the sufferer and those around them, especially carers of young people with Type 1 – you’re awesome!

This is probably also the right time to point out the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

As according to Diabetes Australia, Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. We do not know what causes this auto-immune reaction. Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors. There is no cure and it cannot be prevented. 

WHEREAS

Diabetes Australia says Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. We do not know what causes type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors. Type 2 diabetes also has strong genetic and family related risk factors.

Did you know the difference?  Here’s a challenge for you – go and tell someone else about the why these conditions are so different.

Make it your conversation starter for the week.  Or you could also share the staggering statistic, that 1 in 11 people have diabetes (World Health Organisation) or that if – Diabetes was a country, it would be the third largest in the world (Diabetes NSW).  Everyone likes to be the bearer of good news, sorry, its not you today! (when you start the conversation).

People with Type 1 Diabetes account for 10-15% of all diabetes cases.  The management of this condition can be heartbreaking and exhausting!  It’s a condition close to my heart and an imminent cure is most certainly on my hopes and dreams list, as I’m sure it is for every other affected person and their families.

Back to the main story (!) – for the purpose of this discussion, we are talking predominantly about Type 2 Diabetes – as its the one that is preventable, and also the one posing a major global health challenge.

As responsible humans, we need to recognise and talk about Type 2 Diabetes, no longer can we as a society, ignore it in any way!  In fact, we need to take concentrated action to make a change.

Sturt Eastwood, the Diabetes NSW CEO, recently told the Huffington Post ‘… Australians need to learn to read the signs of diabetes better.’

Do you know if you are suffering early symptoms or have you used the AUSDRISK assessment tool?  A list of symptoms can be found at: https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/type-2-diabetes

You can thank me later, I’ve helped you out here.  You can do YOUR assessment at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/diabetesRiskAssessmentTool

This tool calculates a risk category and advises you on what, if any action, you should take.  I say it again, the best action you can take is to know your risk!  What would be even better is if you shared this knowledge and risk assessment tool with someone around you who you think might also benefit??

Apologies if this is a bit confronting, but at some stage you might just be grateful you read this blog.  Maybe you haven’t been feeling quite right and it is just the call to action you have been searching for?

I say it again, its about managing your health and taking concentrated action to be the best you can be!