The theme for World Diabetes Day 2018-19 is ‘The Family and Diabetes’. In this blog, we explore the risk of diabetes and the importance of spotting the warning signs.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, over 425 million people are currently living with diabetes. Most of these people have type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable.
The frightening stat is that 1 in 2 people currently living with diabetes is undiagnosed. Early diagnosis and treatment are the key to preventing the complications that come with diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and teenagers. It is a chronic condition in which the pancreas isn’t making insulin or is making very little. Insulin is a hormone that enables blood sugar to enter the cells in your body where it can be used for energy. Without insulin, blood sugar can’t get into cells and builds up in the bloodstream. High blood sugar is damaging to the body and causes many of the symptoms and complications of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2. Currently, we don’t know how to prevent type 1 diabetes, but it can be managed by following your GP’s recommendations.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes commonly develops in people over the age of 45.
If you have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin. Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises, resulting in type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes – know your risk
The Australian Department of Health has developed a type 2 diabetes risk assessment tool (AUSDRISK) that can be completed by patients.
The Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool was developed by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute on behalf of the Australian, state and territory governments as part of an initiative to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
By answering the questions in the assessment, you will be able to calculate your risk of type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years.
Could you spot the warning signs?
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination
- lack of energy
- blurred vision
- slow healing of wounds
- numbness in feet and hands
Symptoms can be mild or absent in type 2 diabetes so it is best to see your GP.
Managing diabetes effectively requires daily treatment and regular monitoring. A healthy diet and lifestyle are important.
Park St General Practice Geelong have doctors who are experienced in type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Speak with us about your risk of diabetes at your next appointment.
Resources: * International Diabetes Federation. Australian Government Department of Health.
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with a GP. Links to other (“third party”) websites are provided solely as a convenience and not as a guarantee or recommendation by Park Street General Practice for the services, information, opinion or any other content on such third party websites or as an indication of any affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of such third party websites.