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National Diabetes Week

This year between 9 – 15 July, the focus of National Diabetes Week will be on raising awareness about the early detection of diabetes.

Each day 290 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes, but too many people are being diagnosed too late. Whether it’s type 1 or type 2, this delay in diagnosis is putting many people at risk of major health problems.Every year as many as 640 Australian’s end up in hospital with dangerously high blood glucose levels because the early symptoms of type 1 diabetes – severe fatigue, thirst and weight loss – are not recognised. Around half of these hospital admissions are children and teens and if not diagnosed in time type 1 diabetes can be fatal.

What is type 1 diabetes? 

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose from the food we eat to pass from the blood stream into the cells. Our cells need this glucose to provide our bodies with energy. 

What are the symptoms?

  • Being tired
  • Losing weight
  • Increased urination
  • Being thirsty
  • Dehydration
  • What causes type 1 diabetes? 
  • Type 1 diabetes is not related to lifestyle or cause by eating too many sweets. It is not possible to catch diabetes from someone else. Some people carry genes which might make them more likely to get type 1 diabetes. However, it only develops in these people when something triggers the immune system to destroy the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. 
  • Type 1 diabetes is managed by: 
  • Insulin delivery (via injections or insulin pump). 
  • Blood glucose tests
  • Following a healthy eating plan
  • Being physically active
  • Regular medical check-ups with diabetes team

In addition, almost half million Australian’s are living with are living with type 2 diabetes but don’t know it. That’s because the condition is “silent” and can occur without obvious symptoms. When type 2 diabetes goes undiagnosed there is the danger of developing complications like damage to the eyes or kidneys, foot ulcers and even damage to the heart.

What is type 2 diabetes? 

Type 2 diabetes progresses when the insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly. This is also known as insulin resistance. Generally in these cases the body is still producing insulin but there is not enough insulin or the insulin isn’t working properly, so the cells are only partially unlocked, which causes a build up of glucose in the blood.

What are the common symptoms? 

Being tired

Change in weight

Increased urination

Blurred vision

Feeling thirsty

What causes type 2 diabetes? 

Diabetes runs in the family. If you have a family member with type 2 diabetes, you have a genetic disposition to the condition. While people may have a strong genetic disposition towards type 2 diabetes, the risk is greatly increased if people display a number of modifiable lifestyle factors including high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist. 

Type 2 diabetes can be managed by:

Following a healthy eating plan

Being physically active

Regular medical check-ups


Blood glucose tests

Diabetes doesn’t discriminate. That’s why this National Diabetes Week we’ll be working to raise awareness of the signs of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Because with earlier detection we can reduce the risk of Australian’s developing life threatening health problems and in turn save lives.

CLICK HERE to book an appointment with a GP to discuss your Diabetes risk 

Taken from Diabetes Australia, diabetesaustralia

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