Diabetes Week 2020 – what you need to know about Diabetes
280 people are diagnosed with diabetes every day in Australia, that’s 1 every 5 minutes.
In 1997 diabetes was declared a national priority (Aust Govt, Health Dept, 2020) yet Diabetes diagnoses continue to rise across Australia. According to the International Diabetes Federation, one in two people remain undiagnosed. Type 1 diabetes is still classified as an autoimmune disease with no known cause and no cure. Over 130,000 individuals and their families in Australia are desperate for researchers to find a cure (Diabetes Australia,2020).
Type 2 diabetes is often a preventable lifestyle disease. In a healthy person, our pancreas produces the hormone insulin in tiny islet beta cells. Insulin sustains life, we cannot live without it. Protecting these beta cells and considering their role in our daily lives should be a priority for all of us. Insulin is the key that allows glucose from carbohydrate breakdown into our cells. Glucose is our bodies fuel. Carbohydrates when consumed in a greater proportion to fats and proteins can be a catalyst to developing Type 2 Diabetes. Many people still struggle to identify and reduce the amount of carbohydrates in their diets. Glucose energy is necessary for all voluntary and involuntary activity in the body: exercise, breathing, thinking, metabolising, heart beats, growth etc.
Often the food we eat is more fuel than our bodies require. Many of us overeat, eat when we are not hungry, habitually eat, eat to the clock, or choose to eat very high carbohydrate food and drink. Every time we eat carbohydrates, we put more fuel in the tank. Fuel we don’t use is stored as fat for later use. Too much fat reduces insulins effectiveness, tired overworked stressed pancreas’s produce weaker insulin. Blood glucose rises because it is not being taken into the cells and burnt up as energy, Type 2 Diabetes is the result. 280 people are diagnosed with diabetes every day in Australia, that’s 1 every 5 minutes.
Health complications associated with Type 2 Diabetes include: tiredness, hunger your cant satisfy, blood circulation changes, heart and kidney disease, stroke, vision changes, blindness, impotence, slow wound healing, leg ulcers, amputations (4,400 amputations every year in Australia as a result of diabetes) (www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/diabetes-in-australia,2019).
The Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing stated 23 years ago, we need to; screen more people, we need to share information better and we need to focus on diabetes as a key priority problem to reduce the incidence of diabetes in Australia. This has not reduced the incidence of or financial burden on our health system in relation to diabetes.
Individuals need to prioritise their own pancreatic health. Getting a blood test can identify if you are the 1 in 2 undiagnosed with diabetes. Changing your lifestyle can reverse/slow the progression of type 2 diabetes. The nature of the disease is that it naturally progresses. Your best option is to protect your pancreas now, prevent Type 2 diabetes. Also spare a thought and perhaps a donation to research for those living with life threatening Type 1 Diabetes.