World Diabetes Day – November 14

Here at St. Anne’s, diabetes is something we are frequently addressing; it comes up in our care conferences and other discussions because a good number of our residents have to deal with this ailment every single day.

Although you probably have some familiarity with this condition, we’ll share some interesting facts about diabetes that you may not have known:

An instance of diabetes was first recorded in Egyptian writings around 1500 BC.

Diabetes comes from a Greek word meaning “flowing through” (referring to increased urination).  This term may have first been used around 100 AD.

Today in our country, over 30 million people are afflicted with the disease; a quarter of them are not even aware that they have it.  In recent years, with increasing rates of obesity, the number of people with this condition has increased greatly.  Unfortunately, people of various minority ethnicities are at higher risk of developing type II diabetes.  People who are older, who have a family history, who smoke, and who are overweight are also more likely to be diagnosed. About 7% of pregnancies are plagued with gestational diabetes.  Diabetes costs over $300 billion a year.

Having diabetes makes a person’s likelihood of acquiring heart disease or having a stroke double.  It is also leading cause of kidney disease, limb amputation, and blindness in adults.

The word ‘insulin’ comes from the Latin insula (island) since the Islets of Langerhans (in the pancreas) secrete it.