National Diabetes Week is a whole week dedicated to increasing public awareness of the seriousness of type 2 diabetes and to draw attention to the increasing number of Australia’s developing the condition.

Diabetes Australia has developed a quirky campaign, using strong images illustrating the irrational fears that many people have, versus the real and hidden threats of diabetes – https://www.checkmyrisk.org.au/

Did you know:

  • 2 million Australians are at a HIGH risk of type 2 diabetes
  • 58% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed though lifestyle modification
  • Losing weight, eating a healthy diet and moving more can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes
  • Research shows around 80% of Australians don’t think type two diabetes is something they need to worry about
  • 280 Australian’s develop diabetes every day. Over 100,000 Australia have developed diabetes in the past year.

Why do we focus on Diabetes?

Diabetes is predicted to becoming the number one burden of disease in Australia by 2017 (in just 3 years time). It is the epidemic of the 21st century with all types of diabetes – type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes showing scary increases in prevalence.

How many people are currently living with diabetes?

The best current estimate is that at least 1.7 million Australians have diabetes and this estimate includes all types of diabetes diagnosed as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Almost 1.1 million Australians currently have diagnosed and are registered with the National Diabetes Services Scheme

More about Diabetes:

There are three kinds of diabetes:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes
  2. Type 2 Diabetes
  3. Gestational Diabetes (GDM)

Type 1 Diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. It is not yet known what causes the auto-immune reaction. Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors and cannot be prevented.

Type 1 diabetes

  • Occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin
  • Represents 10-15 per cent of all cases of diabetes
  • Is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases
  • Onset is usually abrupt and symptoms are obvious
  • Symptoms include excessive thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss, weakness, fatigue and blurred vision
  • Is managed with insulin injections several times a day or the use of an insulin pump
  • Can occur at any age, although most cases develop in children, teenagers and young adults.

Australia has one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the world

Type 2 Diabetes:

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which our bodies come resistant to the normal effects of insulin and / or we gradually lose the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. It is not yet known what causes type 2 diabetes, however is has been proved that type 2 diabetes is associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors.

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Is genetic, and can be passed down through family members
  • Represents 85-90% of all cases of diabetes
  • Usually develops in adults over the age of 45 years but is increasingly occurring in younger age groups including children, teenagers and young adults
  • Is more likely to develop in people with a family history, or in particular ethnic backgrounds
  • The first sign of type 2 diabetes may be a complication of diabetes such as a heart attack, vision problems or a foot ulcer
  • Is managed with a combination of regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction. Type 2 diabetes is also progressive and most people will need oral medication and / or insulin injections in addition to lifestyle changes overtime.

Type 2 diabetes is preventable and can be delayed in 58% of all cases

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM):pregnant_diabetes

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a form of diabetes that occurs in about 5% of pregnancies and disappears once the baby is born.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is:

  • More common in women who are over 25 years of age, overweight and have a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Is more common in women who have difficulty brining pregnancy to full term
  • Significantly increases the chance of the women to develop type 2 diabetes in the future
  • Resolves after the birth of the baby but is associated with a higher risk of diabetes subsequently
  • Every year, 20,000 women in Australia develop GDM diabetes during pregnancy
  • Requires careful control of blood glucose levels during pregnancy to avoid adverse outcomes in mother and baby

What is pre-diabetes?

Impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance are condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Are you at risk?

Early detection is key – Check your risk today https://www.checkmyrisk.org.au/

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This post was written by awfa

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