World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. It is marked every year on November 14th, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
Diabetes is a disease in which your body either can’t produce insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas.
Insulin’s role is to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar must be carefully regulated to ensure that the body functions properly. Too much blood sugar can cause damage to organs, blood vessels, and nerves. Your body also needs insulin in order to use sugar for energy.
There are three major types of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common diagnosis, followed by type 1 diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy, and is usually temporary. In addition, prediabetes is another important diagnosis that indicates an elevated risk of developing diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes aren’t able to produce their own insulin (and can’t regulate their blood sugar) because their body is attacking the pancreas. Roughly 10 per cent of people living with diabetes have type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes can’t properly use the insulin made by their bodies, or their bodies aren’t able to produce enough insulin. Roughly 90 per cent of people living with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.