World Diabetes Day: Understanding the Impact and Types of Diabetes


World Diabetes Day, observed annually on November 14th, serves as a global platform to raise awareness about diabetes mellitus. Since its inception in 1991, this significant day commemorates the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, one of the co-discoverers of insulin alongside Charles Best and John James Rickard Macleod in 1922. As diabetes cases continue to rise globally since 1980, understanding the importance of World Diabetes Day is crucial for everyone.

world Diabetes Day
About 537 million adults across the world have diabetes.

Defining Diabetes and Its Types

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated blood sugar levels (glucose). It occurs due to either insufficient insulin production by the pancreas or ineffective utilization of insulin by the body. Here are the primary types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes
    • Cause: An autoimmune response where the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
    • Symptoms: Sudden onset, dependence on insulin injections, and often diagnosed in childhood or adolescence.
    • Treatment: Requires lifelong insulin therapy.
  2. Type 2 Diabetes
    • Cause: Insulin resistance, leading to elevated blood sugar levels.
    • Symptoms: Gradual onset, often associated with lifestyle factors (such as obesity and physical inactivity).
    • Treatment: Managed through diet, exercise, oral medications, and sometimes insulin.
  3. Type 1.5 Diabetes (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults - LADA)
    • Characteristics: Similar to Type 1 but develops in adulthood.
    • Cause: Autoimmune destruction of pancreatic cells.
    • Treatment: Unlike Type 2, LADA cannot be controlled solely through lifestyle modifications.

Diabetes Healthy Tips

The Annual Theme

Each year, World Diabetes Day focuses on a specific theme related to diabetes prevention, management, or research. By spreading awareness and understanding, we can collectively combat this global health challenge. Let us unite in promoting education, early detection, and healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the impact of diabetes worldwide.

Theme of 2023

This year, 2023, the World Diabetes Day theme is “Access to diabetes care”. This theme highlights of the importance of having equal access to the right information and essential care to ensure timely treatment and management.

~Hina Khan