Every year on November 14 we celebrate World Diabetes Day. It is a day when millions of people around the world come together to raise awareness of diabetes and what it’s really like to live with the condition.
In Scotland, more than 280,000 people live with diabetes, including over 16,000 people in Forth Valley.
Yet, despite its prevalence, diabetes is still very misunderstood.
It is a serious and complex condition which, if not managed well, can lead to life-limiting complications including stroke, lower limb amputation, blindness, cardiovascular disease and premature death.
It can affect people at any age and there is no cure.
There are different types of diabetes with Type 2 diabetes the most common, accounting for almost 90 per cent of cases.
Around 10 per cent of people have Type 1 diabetes. This form of the condition is usually diagnosed in childhood and adolescence, but can occur at any age.
Other types of diabetes include gestational diabetes in pregnant women, neonatal diabetes in babies and MODY (mature onset diabetes of the young).
Every type of diabetes is serious and requires careful management in order to live well, avoid dangerous hypoglycaemic episodes (low blood sugar) and reduce the risk of developing devastating complications. Children and adults with all types of diabetes have to manage the condition 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in order to stay healthy. There is no day off.
That’s why this World Diabetes Day we’re asking everyone in Scotland to go blue for a day. Whether you dress in blue clothes, dye your hair blue or paint your face blue like Braveheart – we want you to embrace your inner Smurf to raise money to support people living with diabetes and fund research towards a cure.
This year World Diabetes Day falls on a Monday. What better way to start the week than by having a bit of fun with your family, friends, school mates or work colleagues for a good cause?
Perhaps you could organise a bake sale or sponsored silence.
Employers might want to raffle off a day’s holiday to staff or be sponsored to make everyone’s tea all day.
Parents or teachers can encourage their children to take on a sponsored silence – think of all the added benefits that may bring, along with the funds raised to support people with diabetes!
Anyone who would like to get involved in our #WorldDiabetesDay activities should email Linda.Hamilton@diabetes.org.uk or call 07585790515.
Anyone who has any questions about diabetes can call 0141 212 8710 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.