World Diabetes Day
On World Diabetes Day, the Institut de la Màcula recognises the key role of families in support of sufferers and in the monitoring of medical controls
World Diabetes Day was created 27 years ago by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the aim of increasing global awareness of this disease by publicising its causes, symptoms, treatment and consequences. In Spain, approximately six million people suffer from it. And in Catalonia, the figure is estimated to be 560,000.
This 14 November, the campaign promoted by the International Diabetes Federation (FID) is centred on the family and how it can help, not only in the management, cure and prevention of the disease, but also in its role within the support network of those affected.
The Institut de la Màcula has instigated throughout the month of November a campaign of free diagnostic tests to detect the vision problems related to diabetes. It believes that the family is an essential element throughout the process "not only in the detection of the disease and in the support for the sufferer, but also in the monitoring of control tests and treatments".
Diabetes mellitus is a disease that occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or when the latter is unable to act on the body because cells do not respond to its stimulus.
The right diagnosis and treatment help to reduce the impact of the disease. Diabetics need regular glucose checks to detect rises and falls that enable the glucose level to be adjusted. It is important to maintain blood glucose at an optimal level to avoid the complications of diabetes.
Diabetes is an important risk factor in many pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases; given that the glucose that accumulates in the blood damages blood vessels and accelerates the process of arteriosclerosis. Diabetes also increases the possibility of suffering cerebrovascular diseases, loss of kidney function or alteration of the peripheral nervous system with a serious risk of ulcers and amputations.
With regard to vision, the condition can also be serious. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the main causes of blindness and occurs when diabetes causes the blood vessels of the retina to lose liquids; these include small amounts of blood and occasional losses of fatty deposits, which cause the macula to become inflamed. When someone develops retinopathy symptoms, irreversible damage has often taken place. Therefore, it is vital to conduct periodic checks that enable the problem to be detected in time and then treated.