It’s estimated that there are 200,000 people in NSW living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Delays in diagnoses are putting thousands at risk of life threatening health complications like kidney failure, amputations and heart attacks.
Earlier detection of diabetes will help prevent serious and in some cases life threatening health conditions.
Rates of type 1 and gestational diabetes are higher in the Illawarra than the national average while rates of type 2 diabetes is high in those aged between 50-90 years.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or the body isn’t using the insulin that is produced effectively. Then we get a build-up of glucose in the blood which can damage nerves and organs including heart, kidneys, eyes and feet.
There are about 1.3 million Australians living with diabetes. Main types are:
- Type 1 – affects about 10 per cent; an autoimmune disease that needs to be managed with insulin
- Type 2 – affects about 85 per cent. Risk factors include age, ethnicity, family history and lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent or delay up to 58 per cent of type 2 cases
- Gestational diabetes - which occurs during pregnancy is now the fastest growing type of diabetes affecting one in seven pregnancies
"This is concerning as it can pose a risk to mother and baby during pregnancy, as well as future risk for both developing type 2 diabetes and other health issues," Sturt Eastwood, CEO of Diabetes NSW & ACT said.
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A member-based charity, Diabetes NSW & ACT encourages everyone over aged 45 to include a diabetes check as part of their regular GP health checks. People can live with type 2 for up to seven years before diagnosis and by that time could develop a serious diabetes-related complication.
Symptoms: feeling tired all the time, going to the toilet a lot, unable to quench thirst, and for type 1 diabetes, you are getting thinner despite eating and drinking more – visit your GP immediately.
Diabetes NSW & ACT provide practical support to help people manage their diabetes and live well e.g.:
- Preventative health, diet and fitness programs
- Expert advice
- Training for teachers and carers
- Advocacy and awareness program
- Funding research
Call 1300 342 238 or visit diabetesnsw.com.au or Facebook: @DiabetesNSWACT.