Diabetes, our sweet enemy

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. l Deniz Ezgi Bayca, a 21 year old, second-year medical student in Yuksek Ihtisas University in Ankara, Turkey. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Having an inevitable or untreatable disease is not just a burden on our body. Tackling such situations challenges our mental state more than we can think of. Nevertheless, we as a society are, unfortunately, choosing to be blind to their suffering. Diabetes is one of these diseases. Even though diabetes seems like an innocent one, especially for youth and children, the psychological effect is more than we can imagine.

In the world we live in, not adapting consumerism as a lifestyle is not really an option. Everything, mostly the delicious but harmful foods, most of which diabetic people should not be eating, are marketed really well. Diabetic people are exposed to all and are having distress of feeling outsided. Although, seems simple, not being able to eat chocolate can create a stress that can even lead to depression and needs to be handled carefully.

Nowadays, with the influencing power social media becoming available to many, others are being aware of the difficulties some are facing. Therefore, it is quite easy to reach people and create a difference . We can take measures to inform society to increase accessibility, raise awareness. Even creating a trend can be a plain solution to it to raise attention to both the unavailability of resources and the struggle of diabetic patients. This will not only let others learn but also make them find each other to unite to get over their similar emotional problems together because feeling like you have other people in your situation that got pass through it, can begin your healing process. 

Governments’ or NGOs’ jobs on this can be purely educational and very beneficial. Especially, by campaigning not only they will inform the public but also they can create the opportunity for other people to make a difference. For instance, an ice-cream brand in Turkey called MADO is making sugarless and also diabetic ice-cream in many flavors, this can set an example for other restaurant owners to also have these options in their menu. Apart from addition to menus which can be a little excessive to some, creating a safe environment that they feel acknowledged is more achievable. An easy solution can just be adding diabetic diet into catering firms menus and for example in conferences or seminars can count this as a dietary option like veganism or gluten-free options or addition of diabetic friendly or non-diabetic signs can be added to the menus. 

Overall, making diabetic people feel understood and appreciated is the most important task in order to deal with diabetic distress. As long as we let them know they face problems in their daily life and we are aware and seeking to help them in any case. Furthermore, making sugar-free substances is affordable and available to all is almost a crucial part. 

About the author

İl Deniz Ezgi Bayca is a 21 year old, second-year medical student in Yuksek Ihtisas University in Ankara, Turkey. She studied both A-Levels and national curriculum in Beştepe College. She is a volunteer in TurkMSIC as a SWG coordinator, also a member of Yeşilay, an anti-addiction NGO. Also she is the president of supervisor board of Beştepe College Alumni Society. She can speak English fluently and Russian at beginner level apart from her mother tongue Turkish. 

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