November 14th – World Diabetes Day – Blue Circles For A Change!


14.11.2012

On November 14th we acknowledge World Diabetes Day. There hardly is a person who doesn’t know what diabetes is, keeping in mind that more than 360 million people suffer from this disease. Unfortunately, realizing the true nature of this illness comes only if you or a relative of yours is affected…


Every 5 seconds someone gets diabetes… The World Health Organization prognoses that by 2030 over 500 million people will have diabetes. In Bulgaria, according to statistics, about 500 000 suffer from this illness. Unfortunately about 40% of the affected do not know that they have diabetes, which is a great concern, given the fact that if this not treated in time and with adequate medication, it does lead to a number of complications.


There are two main types of sugar diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Diabetes affects people of all ages – among children type 1 diabetes is more common, while in adults usually type 2 diabetes develops. The main risk factors for developing sugar diabetes are overweight and first level relatives that have sugar diabetes. Way of life also is also a defining factor – nutrition, physical activity, stress.  Symptoms that require a visit to an endocrinologist are constant severe thirst, frequent urination, loss of weight, severe hunger, frequent oral infections, urinary tract infections and skin infections, unidentified general weakness, sudden weight drops and others. The majority of type 2 diabetes patients though do not have obvious symptoms and the disease is identified accidently, usually when undergoing examinations for something else.


Currently, type 1 diabetes cannot be avoided. On the contrary – type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Regular physical activity of at least 30 minutes a day lowers the risk by 35-40%. Studies clearly show that a change in the way of life, mainly in maintaining a healthy weight and physical activity can lower the risk of sugar diabetes by up to 58%.


By filling out a questionnaire for risk factor assessment such as age, waist, family anamnesis, cardio-system state, etc., it is easy to evaluate the risk of diabetes and undertake the necessary measures. In case a high risk of diabetes development is established, a blood sugar level test has to be performed to monitor if there is a high glucose level on an empty stomach, or an irregular glucose tolerance – conditions that show an increased risk of type 2 diabetes development.


Annually over 6 million people become ill with diabetes, more than 70,000 of them are children… The blue circle is the international symbol for diabetes. Bulgarian Organization of Voluntary Blood Donation joins the celebration of World Diabetes Day and the efforts of the International Diabetes Federation to raise awareness and to encourage everyone to make a small positive change in their lives and to inspire others to do the same. In doing so it will help us all live healthier and happier lives for ourselves and for future generations!


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