On April 7th, the World Health Organization (WHO) will celebrate its annual World Health Day. A tradition going back to 1950 and as an anniversary of their inception, WHO has made the 7th of every April a day to celebrate and recognize the importance of the physical and mental well-being of individuals across the globe. The publicity and media spotlight focused on World Health Day allows WHO to create awareness of essential health issues that usually take a backseat. Each year, WHO spotlights an important health matter that transcends borders. The campaign for World Health Day 2016 is diabetes.
The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of diabetes and to encourage action to help combat the recent rise in the number of people suffering from it. Diabetes is a disease that prevents the body from creating insulin which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. When left unchecked, blood sugar levels can have a devastating effect on the body including the heart, blood vessels, eyes, and feet. According to WHO, 9% of adults worldwide suffer from diabetes. In 2012, 1.5 million people succumbed to the disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25% of adults over the age of 60 have diabetes. The rates in Canada are likely to be comparable. It is a disease that seniors and baby-boomers need to pay close attention to.
Prevention of Diabetes
People over 60 are more likely to contract Type 2 diabetes. The best preventative medicine of diabetes is nutrition and physical activity. Studies have shown that seniors who have diets high in vegetables and grains are less likely to develop diabetes. Cutting down on sugar is another good preventive measure. Physical activity, such as walking or light sports, is also recommended. High cholesterol and blood pressure have been linked to diabetes. Some professionals have suggested that stress can be another factor. Spending time with your loved one and ensuring the peace of mind for all of you is always a good thing.
You can do all the right things and still develop diabetes. Family history, pre-existing health factors, and even some medications can lead to diabetes. If your loved one (or yourself) have developed diabetes, your life will change, but not necessarily for the worse. Careful steps just have to be taken to manage the disease. Vigilance on exercise and healthy food becomes much more important as does insulin shots. Complications of diabetes will also need attention. These complications can include heart disease, blood vessel problems, eye problems, and issues with the feet. Remember- thousands of people live with diabetes every day and live full, happy, and productive lives.
If you have more concerns regarding diabetes and your loved one, please speak to us at iCare. We are always happy to address your concerns and answer questions. Our Nurse at Home service offers foot care service to help combat the problems caused by diabetes.
For more information on diabetes and what you can do to help, please go to -http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/world-health-day/en/