As the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia, diabetes is a big deal. To put it into perspective, 280 Australians develop diabetes every day and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the country. Taking action is critical.

“Up to 60% of cases of type 2 Diabetes can be prevented”

-Diabetes Australia

Each year on November 14 World Diabetes Day raises awareness for diabetes and engages millions of people worldwide. The theme for 2009-2013 is ‘Diabetes Education and Prevention’, so we have decided to get involved by writing this article to educate people about the factors, symptoms and what to do in a diabetic emergency.

What Factors Contribute to Diabetes?

  • Obesity
  • Being overweight
  • Inactivity
  • Family History
  • Age
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High levels of triglycerides
  • Diet high in meat and dairy products

A recent study has shown that cutting back on meat and dairy products and increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in your diet can dramatically reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Healthy meals do not have to be boring, there are plenty of delicious options you can introduce into your diet–have a look at our featured recipe for some inspiration.

Signs and Symptoms

In Australia there is a total of nearly 1,000,000 people who have been diagnosed with Diabetes and an estimated 700,000 who have not yet been diagnosed. So what are the signs to look out for?

Symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes include:

  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Being excessively thirsty
  • Needing to urinate excessively
  • Feeling hungry all the time
  • Slow healing cuts
  • Itching and skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Leg cramps

Signs of a Diabetic Emergency

  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizure

If a diabetic is showing these signs and are still conscious you should give them:

  • A sweet drink — soft drink or juice
  • Honey or Sugar
  • Jelly Beans

If they are unconscious implement DRSABCD.

If you think your health and lifestyle is putting you at risk of developing diabetes, don’t put off making changes.

For more information about World Diabetes Day visit the Australian Diabetes Council website.

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This post was written by awfa

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