Diabetes Week is observed during the third week of June every year and this year, it takes place from June 12 to 18. The weeklong event was created to create awareness about the disease and to encourage individuals to be open and talk about their experience with it. The point of raising this kind of awareness is to reduce risk by encouraging lifestyle changes. The week was first founded in 1934 by H.G.Wells and R.D. Lawrence — both of whom were diabetic as well. Considering the magnitude of risk diabetes poses to the population of the United Kingdom, it is imperative to raise awareness about the ailment among the general population.
History of Diabetes Week
The first known documentation of diabetes symptoms can be dated back to 1552 B.C. Egypt, where the physician Hesy-Ra deemed frequent urination a symptom of a disease that also caused both emaciation and the production of urine that attracted ants. In 150 A.D., the Greek physician Arateus described the disease to be ‘the melting down of flesh and limbs into urine.’ The presence of ‘sweetness’ in the urine led to the disease being named ‘Diabetes Mellitus’ in 1675.
It was only in the 18th and 19th centuries that physicians began to realize that dietary changes could aid the regulation of diabetes. In 1916 Elliott Joslin published “The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus” which posited a fasting diet and regular exercise for the regulation of blood sugar levels. In 1920, Frederick Banting, a Canadian physician, first thought to use insulin to treat diabetes.
Today, insulin is used to treat type One diabetes. Other medical advancements have allowed patients to check their blood sugar levels at home and precisely regularize them using insulin, medication, exercise, and diet. Diabetes currently affects about 4.9 million people in the U.K. — out of which about 850,000 people don’t even know that they suffer from the illness. Research suggests that lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 50%. Diabetes Week was founded in 1934 to raise awareness about the issue.
Diabetes Week timeline
Egyptian physician Hesy-Ra describes frequent urination and emaciation as symptoms.
The term ‘Diabetes Mellitus’ is coined.
Canadian physician Frederick Banting proposes the use of insulin to treat diabetes.
The first Diabetes Week is observed.
Diabetes Week FAQs
What is the main cause of Type 2 diabetes?
Although not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and an inactive lifestyle are two of the most common causes of type 2 diabetes.
What are the 3 main signs of diabetes?
The three P’s of diabetes are polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia. These terms correspond to increases in thirst, urination, and appetite, respectively. The three P’s often — but not always — occur together.
Can you suddenly get diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes symptoms can develop quickly, within a few weeks or months.
How to Observe Diabetes Week
Take a diabetes risk test
Take a diabetes risk test. It'll help you understand any changes you may need to make in your lifestyle.
Donate to charitable organizations
If you can, shell out a few bucks to donate to organizations that dedicate themselves to improving the lives of people living with diabetes. Your donation can help push forward research work, outreach efforts, and information campaigns.
Encourage others to assess their level of risk
It’s not enough to just know where you stand, encourage the people around you to assess their risk levels as well. Help them avail the resources they might need to understand the topic further.
5 Facts About Diabetes
The ninth leading cause of death
In 2019, diabetes was the ninth leading cause of death across the world.
Diabetes is a major cause of blindness
Diabetes is a major cause of not just blindness, but also kidney failure, heart attacks, and strokes.
A majority of cases are type 2
Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% to 95% of diabetes cases.
Type 1 is common in young people
Type 1 diabetes tends to develop early in life.
Type 2 diabetes is preventable
Lifestyle changes like a healthy diet and exercise can drastically reduce the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Why Diabetes Week is Important
It highlights the dangers of diabetes
Because the disease is quite common, people often fail to take diabetes seriously. Diabetes Week highlights the dangers associated with diabetes.
It aids in preventative action
One of the central aims of Diabetes Week is to aid preventative action. If people are aware of their risk level, it becomes easier to take steps to reduce it as much as possible.
It acts as a wake-up call
The awareness of one’s risk level allows the day to act as a wake-up call. The holiday does well in not letting people flippantly dismiss diabetes.
Diabetes Week dates