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  • Writer's pictureMichael McEntee

World Diabetes Day

What is World Diabetes Day?

World Diabetes Day is every year on 14th of November, first created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organisation. Diabetes is a chronic disease where the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin if any at all. It also leads to serious health conditions and, in many ways, can be preventable. That’s why we take this day to spread awareness and education.

History of World Diabetes Day

Diabetes is considered to have been around 1550 BC. The successful extraction and injection of insulin into humans was discovered in 1922. So, comparatively, our understanding of diabetes is quite new compared to its long, arduous march through history. 

The difference between Type 2 and Type 1 started around 1850, where medical professionals at the time believed that they knew enough of the difference between the two to warrant two categories. 

More people than ever are at risk of Type 2 diabetes. If nothing changes, more than five million people will have diabetes in the UK by 2025. Around 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes. Around 8% of people with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes. About 2% of people with diabetes have rarer type of diabetes. This alarming rise in such a preventable disease is one of the reasons the WHO and IDF wanted to create World Diabetes Day – to help spread awareness of how to prevent contracting the illness. 

Having to manage blood sugar levels on a daily basis is a time-consuming and costly endeavor, as the economic cost of diabetes globally is around £556 billion ($727 billion) and in the US alone it costs almost a third of that, at $245 billion. 

The costliness and its prevention create even more reason for us to spread awareness of the disease, and also celebrate the birth of the man who helped bring insulin into the modern world as an effective treatment against it. 

Why World Diabetes Day is important

Over a 25 year span (from 1988 to 2013) diabetes diagnoses increased roughly 380%. And these diagnoses are dangerous—by the year 2030 the World Health Organisation predicts diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in the world. This condition demands attention—and that’s why having a whole day dedicated to it is crucial.

World Diabetes Day serves as a reminder to live our lives more healthfully. Type 2 diabetes can be limited through a healthy diet, regular physical activity and maintaining a normal weight. Tobacco use exacerbates type II diabetes as well, and is best avoided.

It’s a reminder to be educated about diabetes

Type 2 diabetes has grown to epidemic proportions, but Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, is just as serious a health threat. World Diabetes Day serves as a reminder to know the symptoms of diabetes, get tested, and get treatment. Extracts taken from

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