“Keeping an eye on diabetes” - this was the motto of the World Diabetes Day 2016 on November 14. This specialist day was introduced in 1991 as a day sponsored by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). November 14 was chosen because this is the birthday of Frederick G. Banting, who discovered the life-saving insulin together with Charles Herbert Best in 1921. Since 2007, the world diabetes day is an official date with the United Nations.

The rapid rise of diabetes worldwide calls for concerted efforts of all those working in health care. Screening plays a major role to effectively prevent consequential damages. On a global level, almost 400 million people suffer from diabetes, however, the real figures (of undetected diabetes) are presumably much higher. This is especially true for low-wage countries. For this reason, a doubling of diabetes cases is expected in Africa by 2040.

This year’s diabetes day focus was on the eyes. This has a double meaning. More than 93 million adult diabetes patients suffer from retinopathy. In many countries, blindness is a consequential damage caused by diabetes. Early detection through eye exams could prevent the loss of sight. Another important factor is the examination of the ocular fundus. Unfortunately, this is not yet a standard examination for diabetic patients, although this would allow for a very early detection of incipient damage of the small vessels.

With this article, we would like to draw your attention to this important topic which is also affecting your work. For many years now, we are providing information on this number one health complaint, both in our seminars and in Neuenbürg’s DIABETES FORUM. We would be delighted to welcome you to one or several of our seminars.

Geork Birkner

Our author, Georg Birkner, also has type 2 diabetes. For more than 16 years now, he is a sales manager at RUCK with a focus on marketing and advertising. He initiated training seminars and is a member of ADBW and ADF (two German work groups concerned with Diabetes and the diabetic foot syndrome), which always keeps him up-to-date with the topic of diabetes.

His guiding principle as a patient and affected person:
“Information, information, information. Active training of the muscles combined with moderate endurance sports is my preferred remedy. I also recommend a healthy and balanced diet. This is how the number one health complaint can be managed fairly well. However, it can not be healed.”