By Charlie G ❘ 2008

Tomorrow, November 14, 2008, we will “celebrate” World Diabetes Day. For another year the opportunity has come to announce with fanfare that it’s a special day, dedicated to diabetes.

I wrote “celebrate” in quotes because I do not think it is an occasion to celebrate. It is a very sad thing that there are more and more people with diabetes, and especially that the number of cases of children with diabetes is dramatically increasing. For me, personally, and with all due respect to those who strive to change things, this seems like a failure on the parts of our health system and government. Why else, since we have a technology thousands of times more advanced than 50 years ago, would the number of people suffering from diabetes increase exponentially? Isn’t it supposed to be the opposite: improving technology and science = improving health? Apparently not. In this case the technology and science improve while people’s health worsens.

And I wonder, how can this be happening? The obvious answer that comes to my mind is that perhaps we are on the wrong path. We are trying to control (which isn’t the same as curing) symptoms that are just a reflex, the body’s reaction to a cause, which can vary from one person to another.

World Diabetes Day 2008I guess that we will keep “celebrating” World Diabetes Day for many years, until there is a change of mentality, so that scientific, medical, and political attention is directed to removing and curing the real cause of the symptoms that we perceive as thirst, the constant urge to urinate, weight loss, lack of energy… that we call diabetes.

Of course, if we want to get to a cure for diabetes we will have to change things from below, us people, because it seems that the high spheres are not willing to sacrifice power and economic benefits for the health of the people who they are supposed to represent.

Many times a combination of small changes is what eventually makes a big difference. For example, the other day I read that eating beans is essential to reduce the occurrence of diabetes mellitus and cancer because beans are one of the foods that raise blood glucose levels least. It has been found that consumption of beans on a regular basis helps to control the level of fats and glucose in the blood, and helps control the metabolism in general, therefore preventing diabetes and cancer, two of the leading causes of death in many countries (Mexico is on the top of the list).

I find it no less than intriguing that in the last 10 years the tradition of generations that made beans a basic food in Mexico has begun to fade. And coincidentally (or not so coincidentally) in recent years the number of diabetics in Mexico has increased, until diabetes has become one of the leading causes of death there.

Aren’t these two circumstances related? Aren’t these little changes in our eating habits and lifestyle consuming our bodies little by little? We are eating less and less healthy food; our foods are refined, canned or ready to heat and serve. We exercise less, sitting longer and longer in front of a television, computer, video console, or just being a couch potato. We receive less vitamin D from the sun, and when exposed to the sun we do it so that we get sunburned or full covered with some kind of super-protector sunscreen.

Let’s start here, by making small changes in those lifestyle habits, and see how our bodies show gratitude by doing what they were created to do: heal themselves.

Of course, those of us who have already spent years with these symptoms (which many call diabetes) may need extra help, but the goal is the same: healing, not just controlling the disease.

As you have found, I do not want to talk about the number of monuments and historic buildings around the world that will be lit in blue lights tomorrow in commemoration of World Diabetes Day, or about the planned activities, because I assume that that is what 99% of tomorrow’s articles will talk about.

You already know me, I like to swim against the current sometimes. Do not hesitate to leave your comments on what this day means to you, what has been done in your community, or anything you are interested in sharing with others.

By following this link you can see one of the videos that has been prepared for this day by international organizations. The sad part of it, I think, is the kid’s comment about diabetes being part of his life and not being able to do anything about it. To tell a child that there is nothing he can do to change his situation or circumstances is like taking the wings off a bird. Who knows, maybe that child could find a cure for this disease if we let his imagination and his creativity remain intact, and if we could teach him to believe that anything IS POSSIBLE.

Update June 2011: my guess is that if more and more people follow the recommendations and easy steps from Dr. Ripich to cure diabetes (especially diabetes type 2), many people could be really celebrating World Diabetes Day soon, from the “already cured” perspective.

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2 Comments on World Diabetes Day 2008

  1. ken charles says:

    tried to sign up for the book put in my card $ , keep saying error. please advise

  2. Charlie says:

    Hi Ken, I would suggest that you either try with a different card or you call them to see why is that happening and if you can order the book per phone.

    Cheers