World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day is held annually on November 14, the same day in 1922 insulin was discovered by Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best. Diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by high levels of glucose in the blood. As the incidence of diabetes has increased, so too has the awareness of diabetes in the community. The theme of WDD for 2020 is ‘The Nurse and Diabetes,’ aiming to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting those living with diabetes. Diabetes sufferers face a number of challenges, and education is vital to equip nurses with the skills to support them.
The main types of diabetes are type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. In truth though, we think there are many more sub-types that fall in each of these categories.
Type 1 diabetes
- Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system is activated to target the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. We do not know what causes this autoimmune reaction. There are a number of theories, and this may represent a number of driving causes.
Type 2 diabetes
- Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. This is often thought of as ‘lifestyle related’ diabetes but genetic predisposition is thought to play a huge role here also.
- Gestational is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Most women will no longer have diabetes after the baby is born. However, some women will continue to have high blood glucose levels after delivery. It is diagnosed when higher than normal blood glucose levels first appear during pregnancy.
Facts about Diabetes
- 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes
- Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million known and registered) as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (up to 500,000 estimated) (Source)
- More than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year
- For every person diagnosed with diabetes there is usually a family member or carer who also ‘lives with diabetes’ every day in a support role. This means that an estimated 2.4 million Australians are affected by diabetes every day
- Total annual cost impact of diabetes in Australia estimated at $14.6 billion
- Nurses account for 59% of health professionals – the largest occupational group
- The global nursing workforce is 27.9 million, of which 19.3 million are professionals
- The global shortage of nurses is estimated to be 5.9 million, of which 89% is in low and lower middle-income countries
- Nursing graduates need to increase by 8% a year to overcome the predicted global shortfall by 2030
- Approximately 90% of the nursing workforce is female
- Although much education about diabetes will come from health professionals, ask your GP, diabetes educator or allied health professional about how you can empower yourself by directing you to additional educational resources. Your health professional will help you with any follow-up questions you might have.