Are you at risk of diabetes?
The holiday season, while it is a joyous time spent with friends and loved ones, it can also be a time when we neglect good eating habits and become too busy for exercise. If this pattern continues, many of us may be faced with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st Century. Statistics show that, 280 Australians develop this condition every day, making diabetes the fastest growing condition in Australia. In 2013, diabetes was the cause of 1.5 million deaths around the world.
So what is diabetes? Are we at risk of developing this chronic condition and are we able to recognise the warning signs? Is there anything we can do to minimise the risk of diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious condition where the body is unable to maintain a healthy level of glucose, this can lead to many health complications. A hormone called Insulin is produced by an organ in the body called the pancreas. Insulin is essential for the conversion of glucose into energy which is vital for our bodies to function normally. In people with diabetes, insulin is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts for the glucose to be converted to energy and therefore it remains in the bloodstream resulting in high blood glucose levels.
There are three main types of diabetes; type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. All three types require daily monitoring and care in order to maintain a stable blood glucose level and avoid potential complications. Complications may include: stroke, heart attack, limb amputation, kidney disease, blindness and depression.
The risk factors for developing diabetes include people who:
- have certain medical conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, history of gestational diabetes, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome
- have a family member with type 2 diabetes
- are overweight
- have a sedentary lifestyle
- are from certain ethnic backgrounds such as Chinese, South Asian, Indian, Pacific Islander and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Active Medical’s Diabetes Educator Marianne Del Papa said that people who have any of the above risk factors, should speak to their doctor regarding a health check including a Diabetes Risk Factor Assessment to assess the need for ongoing care and assistance from a Diabetes Educator.
“It is important for people to act quickly if they have any risk factors as by the time symptoms of diabetes are noticed, complications of diabetes may already be present.” Mrs. Del Papa said.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes are often sudden and life threatening and therefore it is quickly diagnosed. However, symptoms of type 2 diabetes include: increased thirst, frequent urination, increased feeling of hunger, blurred vision, slow healing cuts, frequent infections, itchy skin, mood swings, headaches, slow and gradual weight increase, dizziness and leg cramps.
Don’t ignore the warning signs, make an appointment with your Doctor or Diabetes Educator today if you think you are at risk of developing diabetes to get the assistance and care you need.
If you would like to check if you are at risk of diabetes or for more information on preventing or managing diabetes, book an appointment with our friendly team on 9363 0954 or access our online booking system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Active Medical is located at 228-232 Caroline Springs Blvd, Caroline Springs.