With today marking World Diabetes Day, we thought it was important for you to know these 10 facts about the disease.


1. ) Diabetes describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both.

2.) There are three types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1 Diabetes – the body doesn’t produce insulin.
  • Type 2 Diabetes – the body doesn’t produce enough insulin for proper function. (This is the most common).
  • Gestational Diabetes – this type affects females during pregnancy.

3.) Common diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, intense thirst and hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, fatigue, cuts and bruises that do not heal, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

4.) About one third of all people with diabetes do not know they have the disease.

5.) Diabetes can be prevented.  Eat healthy foods and be active with at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) each day. 

6.) Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults.

7.) People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease than someone without diabetes.

8.) Diabetes costs US$174 billion annually, including US$116 billion in direct medical expenses.

9.) The emerging global epidemic of diabetes can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.

10.) 80 per cent of diabetes deaths are now occurring in low- and middle-income countries.


Join the annual Beat Diabetes Walk on December 12 at Zabeel Park. The walk is a powerful platform bringing together the community to raise awareness. There is a nominal participation fee of Dhs20 per adult and Dhs10 per child. Funds go to Al Jalia foundation to support research and diabetes treatment. 

Sources: Joslin Diabetes Centre, Medical News Today, WHO