World Diabetes Day 2022: History, Significance, Celebrations and Theme

World Diabetes Day is annually observed on 14th November. This day is an awareness campaign about the disease of diabetes across the world. 

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 about this disease around the world. 

This day also commemorates the birth anniversary of Frederick Banting who was born on 14th November, 1891. Banting was one of the two scientists who led the research into discovering insulin which served as an effective treatment against the diabetes disease. 

Event World Diabetes Day
Date November 14, 2022
Day Monday
Significance The day raises awareness about the disease of diabetes across the world.
Observed by World wide

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World Diabetes Day History: 

Diabetes was one of the first diseases described, with an Egyptian manuscript from c. 1500 BCE mentioning “too great emptying of the urine.” The Ebers papyrus includes a recommendation for a drink to take in such cases. The first described cases are believed to have been type 1 diabetes. Indian physicians around the same time identified the disease and classified it as madhumeha or “honey urine”, noting the urine would attract ants. The term “diabetes” or “to pass through” was first used in 230 BCE by the Greek Apollonius of Memphis. The disease was considered rare during the time of the Roman empire, with Galen commenting he had only seen two cases during his career. 

The earliest surviving work with a detailed reference to diabetes is that of Aretaeus of Cappadocia (2nd or early 3rd century CE). He described the symptoms and the course of the disease, which he attributed to the moisture and coldness, reflecting the beliefs of the “Pneumatic School”. Two types of diabetes were identified as separate conditions for the first time by the Indian physicians Sushruta and Charaka in 400–500 CE with one type being associated with youth and another type with being overweight. 

Remedies for diabetes before the mid-1800s often consisted of blends of ingredients, bleeding, and opium. Another treatment that prevailed into the 20th century was to provide the patient with extra nourishment to compensate for the loss of nutrients to urine. Patients under this regimen were advised to eat as much as possible; sometimes, to eat extra large quantities of sugar. This was misguided advice that resulted in early deaths. Meanwhile, greater success at controlling diabetes was found as physicians began to notice that fasting, not overfeeding, seemed to improve the symptoms of diabetes.  

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Effective treatment for diabetes was not developed until the early part of the 20th century when Canadian Scientists Frederick Banting and Charles Herbert Best conducted an experiment in isolating and purifying insulin in 1921 and 1922. This was followed by the development of the long-acting insulin NPH in the 1940s which was revolutionary discovery as it played a huge role in the treatment of diabetes since then. Then on the 100th birth anniversary of Frederick Banting, World Diabetes Day was launched in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the rapid rise of diabetes around the world. 

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World Diabetes Day Significance: 

Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia). There are primarily three main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset diabetes) is characterized by a lack of insulin production. Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes) is caused by the body’s ineffective use of insulin. It often results from excess body weight and physical inactivity. Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia that is first recognized during pregnancy. 

Globally, an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980. The global prevalence of diabetes has nearly doubled since 1980, rising from 4.7% to 8.5% in the adult population. This reflects an increase in associated risk factors such as being overweight or obese. Over the past decade, diabetes prevalence has risen faster in low and middle-income countries than in high-income countries. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation around the world which is a very serious issue which our world is facing. 

The classic symptoms of untreated diabetes are unintended weight loss, polyuria (increased urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), and polyphagia (increased hunger).  Symptoms may develop rapidly (weeks or months) in type 1 diabetes, while they usually develop much more slowly and may be subtle or absent in type 2 diabetes.  Several other signs and symptoms can mark the onset of diabetes although they are not specific to the disease. In addition to the known symptoms listed above, they include blurred vision, headache, fatigue, slow healing of cuts, and itchy skin. 

Type 1 diabetes must be managed with insulin injections. Prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes involves maintaining a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, a normal body weight, and avoiding use of tobacco. Type 2 diabetes may be treated with oral antidiabetic medications, with or without insulin. Control of blood pressure and maintaining proper foot and eye care are important for people with the disease. Insulin and some oral medications can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Weight loss surgery in those with obesity is sometimes an effective measure in those with type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after the birth of the baby. 

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World Diabetes Day Celebrations: 

The blue circle logo is a global symbol for diabetes awareness. On World Diabetes Day, people likes to wear a t-shirt, necklace or bracelet with the logo to make others aware of this dangerous disease and its effects. So you also try to wear this logo on this occasion as a way of spreading awareness. 

Several events, programs, conferences or discussions are organized on this day all across the world making people aware about the seriousness of this disease and ways to prevent it by adopting a healthy lifestyle. So you also use this opportunity to make people aware about this very important day so that everyone can take precautions against this disease. 

Symptoms of diabetes can include but aren’t limited to excessive excretion of urine, thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, vision changes and fatigue. In addition, being overweight or obese greatly increases the chances of having type II diabetes. It’s estimated 1 in 2 adults with diabetes is undiagnosed. Use World Diabetes Day as reminder to get tested if you have any risk factors or symptoms.

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World Diabetes Day Theme: 

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is “Access to Diabetes Care”. This theme brings awareness to the fact that even after 100 years of the discovery of insulin, millions of people with diabetes around the world cannot access the care they need. People with diabetes require ongoing care and support to manage their condition and avoid complications. 

The centenary of the discovery of insulin presents a unique opportunity to bring about meaningful change for the more than 460 million people living with diabetes and the millions more at risk. United, the global diabetes community has the numbers, the influence and the determination to bring about meaningful change. We need to take on the challenge. 

Education to protect tomorrow is the theme of the second year of the World Diabetes Day 2021-23 campaign. Activities will focus on highlighting the need for better access to quality diabetes education for health professionals and people living with diabetes. 

Most Searched FAQs on World Diabetes Day: 

1. When is World Diabetes Day observed? 

World Diabetes Day is annually observed on 14th November. 

2. What does World Diabetes Day commemorates? 

World Diabetes Day commemorates the birth anniversary of Frederick Banting, who was one of the scientist who developed insulin which proved to be an effective treatment for diabetes. 

3. What is the theme of World Diabetes Day 2022? 

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is “Access to Diabetes Care”. 

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