Diabetes is a common disease that we easily find in society. We often hear and read so many things related to diabetes, and healthy diet is one of infamous topic related to diabetes. But actually, do you know what is it that well? According to World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a shape of chronic metabolic disease which occurs when the patient’s blood glucose or blood sugar is too high. Our body has so many complex processes inside, and we need a huge amount of energy to do all of these. Blood sugar is our main source of energy and it comes from the food and beverage you consume daily. Insulin hormone is responsible for helping glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. There are two types of diabetes, and the most common one is type 2 diabetes which caused by body’s resistance to insulin hormone while type 1 diabetes (once known as juvenile diabetes) is a chronic condition in which patient’s pancreas only produces a little amount of insulin or even no at all by itself. Surprisingly, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in 2016. On this year’s World Diabetes Day (WDD) celebration, WHO focused the topic on family and its relation to diabetes.
As we know, diabetes has many impacts for the patients and their families especially an economic burden in terms of increased family outcome for higher healthcare payments associated with patients’ treatments and medications. Diabetes is a lifelong disease that will always have costs associated with it, and it becomes worse when diabetes’ complications occur in patients because the healthcare payments would be more expensive. Both health and economic problems often leads to certain psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, or frustration as the family members fear the chance for their loved one will develop more severe condition of diabetes. Some of them often feel confused about what they need to do to help their loved one. One study showed that 63% of family members had anxiety about how diabetes’ complications would affect and change their lives. This year’s World Diabetes Day highlighted these problems and aimed to promote universal health coverage for affordable healthcare for diabetic patients, including improving the knowledge and capacities of people with diabetes and their families to take charge of their own care, also to reduce family burden caused by diabetes.
Living with diabetes is not easy at all as daily diabetic care is not easy to handle. Affordable treatment, family support, and adequate information regarding diabetes are important for diabetic patients. Family interventions showed promise in helping diabetic patients in controlling their level of blood sugar, also to prevent the complications. So what can we do in order to help those in need? Ministry of Health of Indonesia promotes Gerakan Masyarakat Hidup Sehat (GERMAS) as a way to gain a healthier life style in order to achieve a healthier Indonesia. GERMAS is a systematic and planned action, objected to raise the awareness, willingness, and ability to have a healthy life style. The implementation of GERMAS must start from the family because family is the smallest part of the community that shapes the personality. This movement able to improve diabetic patients’ quality of life and prevent diabetes’ complications, using several relevant ways such as regular physical activities, regular blood glucose control, prohibit alcohol consumption, do not smoke, and controlling your daily diet with “What’s on My Plate” concept. Knowledge is power, when we know and understand about diabetes properly, we able to become a genuine help for others. Remember, healthier life starts with you. Let’s stand together to unite for a sweeter life without diabetes!