Saturday 14th November is World Diabetes Day, and this year’s global campaign focuses on promoting the role of nurses in the prevention and management of diabetes. Their role is to empower persons with diabetes to manage the condition safely, and teach them how to control and modify their lifestyle.
In Gibraltar, there are 3280 diabetic people. 278 people are affected by Type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune condition that cannot be avoided as the body works against itself and destroys the insulin-producing cells.
However, 3002 cases of diabetes in Gibraltar are Type 2, meaning the body is able to produce insulin but body cells are resistant. Type 2 diabetes is both preventable and reversible, and one of its main causes is obesity, as the excess weight and fat around the cells blocks the function of the insulin.
Keeping a healthy BMI under 30, maintaining a good diet and an active lifestyle can reduce the risks of both obesity and diabetes.
Adult Diabetes Nurse at the Gibraltar Health Authority, Susan Edwards, said: ‘World Diabetes Day gives us an excellent opportunity to re-think our lifestyles and reduce our risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes, which is preventable and reversible. We need to get rid of the trigger, and that is obesity, by doing things mindfully and in moderation. Let’s bring our BMI down below 30, look at what we are eating, reduce the amount of fats and sugars we are eating and increase our activity.’
Minister for Health, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said: ‘I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our nurses and clinical staff at the GHA for their hard work throughout the year to help diabetes patients manage and treat their conditions through a healthy, active lifestyle. I would also like to thank Diabetes Gibraltar for the important role they play, particularly in raising awareness. These are prime examples of how small changes can go a long way to preventing and treating illnesses.’