As some of you may know, November is Diabetes Awareness Month with the 14th of November as Diabetes Awareness Day. Be on the lookout for the blue circle (shown below), the universal symbol for diabetes, or blue ribbons as people try raise awareness about this or should I rather say these diseases.
One of the most pertinent things about diabetes is that it is in fact two different diseases. While many of us know of type 1 and type 2 diabetes the differences in these two diseases are quite stark, in contrast to their names:
|Type 1||Type 2|
|An autoimmune disease||A metabolic disorder|
|Immune system attacks the pancreas||Body is unable to produce sufficient insulin|
|Limits body’s ability to produce insulin||Or the insulin doesn’t function properly (insulin resistance)|
|Doctors don’t fully understand what causes Type 1 diabetes||Lifestyle factors can put you at risk|
|Can’t be cured||Can be avoided and even reversed|
|Develops early in life (usually diagnosed in children)||Develops slower and later|
It is also highly apt that we as Utilitas raise the awareness of diabetes as we have staff with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. I would like to take this opportunity to specifically encourage these staff members during this time. As while dealing with all their normal staff duties, they also deal with the additional demands that diabetes place on them. I also want to praise all our staff with chronic conditions that continue to give their all and contribute even as they fight their everyday battles but never waiver in the work.
P.S. For those inspired to know more and see how they can support Diabetes research have a look at Diabetes South Africa