World Health Day: Diabetes Awareness

This year, the focus for the World Health Organisations, “World Health Day” on 7th April is Diabetes.

Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system. Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia; increasing at a faster rate than other chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Facts About Diabetes

  • 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes!
  • Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million known and registered) as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (up to 500,000 estimated)
  • More than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year
  • For every person diagnosed with diabetes there is usually a family member or carer who also ‘lives with diabetes’ every day in a support role. This means that an estimated 2.4 million Australians are affected by diabetes every day

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar, gives us the energy that we need to live. If it cannot get into the cells to be burned as energy, sugar builds up to harmful levels in the blood.

Type 2 Diabetes

There are 2 main forms of the diabetes. People with Type 1 Diabetes typically make none of their own insulin and therefore require insulin injections to survive. People with Type 2 Diabetes, the form that comprises some 90% of cases, usually produce their own insulin, but not enough or they are unable to use it properly. People with Type 2 Diabetes are typically overweight and sedentary, two conditions that raise a person’s insulin needs. Without the proper actions, long term effects of Type 2 Diabetes include high blood sugar. This may seriously compromise every major organ system in the body, potentially causing heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, impotence and infections that can lead to amputations.

A large proportion of Type 2 Diabetes cases are preventable. Just like seat belts in cars and helmets for cyclists, healthy lifestyle changes will largely prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Simple lifestyle measures that have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of this disease include;

  • Reducing the amount of energy (particularly fat and sugar) in your diet
  • Eating healthy foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables daily
  • Exercising for 30 minutes a day, a total of 150 minutes a week
  • If you are overweight, losing weight to a safe, sustainable rate (based on BMI)

Here at Wesley Lifeshape Clinic, we offer medically supervised Diabetes weight loss programs designed to help you manage your diabetes for life. We will help you reduce your weight, optimise your nutrition, and improve your activity in order to achieve the best blood glucose control, lower medication levels and reduce health risks.

Information used in this article sourced from:

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