World Diabetes Day

Introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization, World Diabetes day is an international campaign directed at attracting attention and raising awareness of the metabolic disease, diabetes. With diabetes rates exponentially increasing across the world, Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance Services believes this annual awareness campaign on November 14 to be more important than ever.

“When living with diabetes, you have to take it one day at a time,” Cooper Bolton, Angel MedFlight business development representative, said.

Diabetes occurs when a person has high blood sugar due to either the pancreas failing to produce enough insulin or cells being unresponsive to the insulin that is produced. While the disease is classified into four categories: type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes and “other specific types,” the generic term “diabetes” usually refers to diabetes mellitus.

Type 1 (diabetes mellitus) was traditionally termed “juvenile diabetes,” in relation to its early onset, appearing most commonly in children and young adults. Regardless of age, sex or physical characteristics, this is a lifelong affliction requiring daily injections of insulin in addition to close monitoring of food and sugar intake.

In recent years the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has been increasing across the world and is now the most common type of the disease. Unlike diabetes mellitus, the onset of type 2 diabetes often occurs in later on in life. Although the exact cause of bloodstream sugar buildup is uncertain, obesity rates and “Western-style” diets are believed to be related to the onset of this condition.

During pregnancy, women undergo many interesting physiological changes. For two to five percent of these women, one of the many changes related to pregnancy include the onset of gestational diabetes. If left untreated it can damage the health of the fetus and can pose risks to the baby including malformations and anomalies. Fortunately, with careful medical supervision gestational diabetes is fully treatable. After delivery it is normal for the disease to improve or disappear entirely.

Other specific types of diabetes are conditions in which a person has many of the same indicators of more common forms of the disease but do not fully have any of them.  Among these are: prediabetes, latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA) and some cases caused by unresponsive tissue receptors and genetic mutations.

While manageable with attention and care, diabetes carries with it increased risk for long-term complications. Diabetes damages the capillaries, can lead to blindness, has the potential to cause chronic kidney disease and even amputation of a patient’s feet due to diabetic foot ulcers caused by neuropathy.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance Services believes in the importance of education and awareness campaigns to help lower the prevalence of diabetes and other widespread medical conditions.

Providing premier medical flight capabilities for people all over the world is the first (large) step to world health. Capitalizing on the already strong foundation of domestic and international air medical transportation with community outreach and participation in public health days distinguishes a provider from an industry leader.

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