World Diabetes Day is a day set aside by the United Nations to raise the awareness of diabetes around the world.
When is World Diabetes Day celebrated?
Who observes this day?
This day is a worldwide observance. It is officially sanctioned by the United Nations and is observed by people with diabetes as well as people close to those to have the disease. There are a number of organizations that observe this day including the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), and JDRF.
What do people do on Diabetes Day?
There are a number of activities and fundraisers worldwide on Diabetes Day. One of these is called "going blue" where buildings and monuments are lit up blue at night. It is estimated that over 1000 buildings and monuments have 'gone blue". Find out if the major building or monument in your town is going blue. If not, maybe you can participate by helping them to "go blue" for diabetes.
Another way to go blue is to wear blue or put something blue on your website or Facebook page to observe the event.
Another popular activity is the diabetes walk. Many major towns have these events where you can walk to raise money for diabetes research organizations like JDRF. You can also just go for a walk yourself or with friends. Walking is a great way to say healthy and prevent diabetes.
There are also international conferences to discuss advances in diabetes treatments, screening events where people at risk can get tested for the disease, and sporting events such as golf tournaments and bicycle races.
What is type I diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes happens when the body's immune system attacks certain cells in the pancreas. These cells are called beta cells and they produce insulin for the body. Insulin is needed to process sugar. You need insulin to live.
Today there are treatments to help people with Type 1 diabetes survive. They take a shot of insulin after every meal to help them process the sugar. Imagine having to get a shot after every meal? They also have to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels by pricking their fingers and testing their blood sugar. This way they know how much insulin to take.
There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes. It is often called juvenile diabetes because most people get it when they are children, however, they will have it for the rest of their lives.
Some symptoms of diabetes include being very thirsty, losing weight without trying, feeling tired, feeling hungry, blurry eyesight, and urinating often.
History of World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day was originally introduced in 1991 by the World Health Organization and the International Diabetes Foundation. They picked the November 14th because this was the birthday of one of the co-discoverers of insulin, Frederick Banting (the other was Charles Best). In 2006 the day became an official United Nations Health Day.
Facts About World Diabetes Day
- The United Nations symbol for diabetes is a ring of blue.
- Over 160 countries participate in the day.
- There are over 240,000 registered participants for the Global Diabetes Day Walk.
- November is diabetes awareness month in Canada.
- The theme for the day for years 2009 - 2013 is Diabetes Education and Prevention.
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