Diabetes

What is diabetes?

What is diabetes?

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is one of the four major types of noncommunicable diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases). It is a chronic condition that occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin or cannot effectively use the insulin it does produce. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the blood sugar (glucose) formed from the food consumed by a person. Diabetes therefore results in raised blood sugar levels which, if not controlled, over time lead to serious damage to many of the body's systems.

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What are the major forms of diabetes?

What are the major forms of diabetes?

What are the major forms of diabetes?

There are two major forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. Symptoms may occur suddenly and include extreme thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, excessive urination, blurred vision and fatigue. Type 2 diabetes results from the body’s inability to effectively use its insulin. Ninety percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Symptoms may be similar to those of type 1 diabetes, but are often less marked. Type 2 diabetes is largely the result of excess body weight and physical inactivity.

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What are the consequences of diabetes?

What are the consequences of diabetes?

What are the consequences of diabetes?

In 2012, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths, with more than 80% of these deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030. The overall risk of dying among people with diabetes is at least double that of their peers without diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are responsible for 50% to 80% of deaths in people with this condition. Diabetes is also a leading cause of blindness, amputation and kidney failure.

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What actions are needed to prevent and manage diabetes?

What actions are needed to prevent and manage diabetes?

What are the needed actions?

Governments are responsible for raising public awareness about diabetes, for creating environments that enable people to follow healthy lifestyles, for implementing measures that reduce the exposure of populations to risk factors that can lead to diabetes, and for ensuring access to acceptable standards of health care for all people with diabetes. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own health through simple lifestyle measures which include engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and eating healthy food.

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Act now

Act now

43 million people in our Region have diabetes


Our Region has the highest prevalenceof diabetes in the world


Beat diabetes

Beat diabetes: eat healthyEat healthy


Beat diabetes: be activeBe active


Beat diabetes: Do not smoke/use tobaccoDo not smoke/use tobacco


Beat diabetes: Follow medical adviceFollow medical advice


Campaigns

World Health Day 2016: Beat diabetes
7 April 2016


World Diabetes Day 2016: Eyes on diabetes