World Diabetes Day 14 November 2011 raises Global Awareness

World Diabetes Day raises global awareness of diabetes – its escalating rates around the world and how to prevent the illness in most cases. Started by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and WHO, the Day is celebrated on 14 November to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.

WHO estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 without intervention. Almost 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

Does diabetes pose a significant road safety risk and do we understand this medical condition?

Diabetes is a life-long condition where you have too much sugar in your blood, due to a lack of insulin. This high blood sugar level, if left untreated, can cause irreversible the damage and ultimately lead to death.

Symptoms of diabetes include

• Blurred vision
• Dry skin or skin infections
• Nausea
• Recurring infections
• Wounds or cuts that won’t heal
• Unexplained weight loss
• Tingling or numbness in hands or feet

How can Diabetics manage Diabetes?

• Diabetes is a treatable condition. Keep a positive attitude and take note of the changes you have to make to your lifestyle to control the disease.
• Eat a healthy diet to help keep your blood sugar in control and to maintain a healthy body weight.
• Get regular exercise to help regulate your blood sugar. It will also reduce your risk of heart disease, and help to control your weight.
• If drugs are prescribed to help keep your blood sugar in control, take them as instructed. Too little medication will make your blood sugar rise higher that usual, and too much will cause your blood sugar level to drop.
• Take good care of your feet. Diabetes affects the nerve function and blood flow to the feet, increasing your risk of infection.
• Get regular eye exams. Changes in your eyesight caused by diabetes often have no symptoms until the damage is quite advanced.

Diabetes need not pose a significantly higher risk to road safety! Awareness of the symptoms and constant monitoring of their health should help all our friends with diabetes to Arrive Alive!

Visit the Arrive Alive Website for more info on “Diabetes and Road Safety”

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