Wednesday, November 14, 2012

World Diabetes Day

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By Nurse Diane

A friend of mine's business has several security cameras installed.  He has a program on his home computer that will allow him to watch the business when he can't be there.  He has an employee who had diabetes.  The other morning, as my friend was getting ready for work, he checked the monitor, and noticed that his employee was just sitting there, something very unusual for this man.  My friend rushed to work, and found the man in a much weakened condition.  The man checked his blood sugar and discovered it was in the low 20’s my friend rushed to the kitchen and fixed him some bread and jelly.  Once he ate, his sugar began to rise and a crisis was avoided.

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Diabetes is a disease that prevents the pancreas from producing enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that enables cells to take in glucose from the blood and use it for energy. Failure to produce insulin, or of insulin to act properly, or both, leads to raised glucose (sugar) levels in the blood (hyperglycemia). This is associated with long-term damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.  Diabetes can be controlled with diet or insulin, or both.  If you know someone who has Diabetes, it is important to learn the warning signs of low blood sugar that could cause a diabetic coma or even death.

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Signs of low blood sugar include:  sweating, nervousness, anxiety, hunger, heart palpitations, confusion, headaches.  Seizures and coma will soon follow, and possibly death if help doesn't arrive.  If the blood sugar is too high, you will see an increase in thirst and urination, headaches and confusion, difficulty concentration.  The normal range of blood sugar is 80 -120, and will need to be monitored with a glucometer by testing the blood from a finger stick.  Those who have diabetes should have a glucometer, and the knowledge of how to use it.

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Today is World Diabetes Day. World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat that diabetes now poses. World Diabetes Day became an official United Nations Day in 2007.   The day is celebrated on November 14, to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.  This year the theme is Education and Prevention.  The International Diabetes Foundation works in several areas including:
  • Advocacy
  • Awareness
  • Education
  • Epidemiology and Prevention
  • Essential Care
  • Guidelines
  • Health Economics
  • Translational Research
  • Women and diabetes


To learn more about Diabetes, and how you can help to spread the word, check out this site:  http://www.idf.org/who-we-are

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