November 12, 2007

World Diabetes Day

Did you notice the little sidebar (is that what it's called?) on World Diabetes Day I added recently? Well, this is not PPC advertisement or another money generating avenue. I'm just doing something to raise awareness on diabetes, a growing epidemic that continues to affect ever-increasing numbers of people around the world due to an extraordinary lack of awareness of the global scale of the diabetes threat. Recent data suggest that worldwide about 246 million people now live with diabetes. This estimate is expected to increase to some 380 million in 2025, the majority of which will be in the Asian region.

There are basically two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that results in the permanent destruction of insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin is the hormone that helps the body utilizes glucose as a source of energy. Type 1 diabetes is lethal unless treatment with exogenous insulin via injections replaces the missing hormone.

Type 2 diabetes on the other hand is a metabolic disorder that is primarily characterized by insulin resistance (body cells do not respond appropriately when insulin is present) and relative insulin deficiency. One of the major risk factor for type 2 diabetes is obesity, which is why it is increasing at an alarming rate in developing countries due to changes in traditional lifestyle.

Since 1991, World Diabetes Day is celebrated worldwide every year on 14 November by over 200 member associations of the International Diabetes Federation in more than 160 countries, as well as by other associations, organisations, healthcare professionals and individuals with an interest in diabetes. On December 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a landmark Resolution recognizing diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease. The Resolution designates World Diabetes Day on November 14 as a United Nations Day to be observed every year starting in 2007.

So what's so special about World Diabetes Day 2007? Hop on to the World Diabetes Day website or watch this space for more information.

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