By the time you finish reading this post, at least one person will be diagnosed with diabetes. One Australian every 5 minutes will be diagnosed with diabetes, with up to 280 people diagnosed with the disease each day. 100,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the last year alone, with this figure expecting to rise in the coming years. But what is diabetes?

There are two types of diabetes- type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 is usually diagnosed during childhood and accounts for 10 percent of diabetes cases in Australia. Type 1 diabetes is where the beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed, meaning the pancreas cannot produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose from the food you’ve digested to the bloodstream to be used for energy. Unfortunately, type 1 cannot be prevented and those with type 1 diabetes will be using insulin to help manage their blood sugar levels for the rest of their lives.

Type 2 diabetes however is the main concern, accounting for 90 percent of diabetes cases. This is where either the pancreas cannot produce insulin or insulin is produced but the body doesn’t use it. Recently, the World Health Organisation labelled type 2 diabetes as an epidemic, and for great reason.

National Diabetes week is coming up on the 10th to 16th of July, a great chance to review your risks and make a change. Did you know that 58 percent of type 2 diabetes cases are preventable? Yes, preventable, meaning that you can make a change to stop type 2 diabetes happening to you, to a friend, or to a family member.

Do you know the risk factors? Would you be able to list a couple of them? Would you be able to change them? The simple answer is yes, you can change some of the risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes. Risk factors include being overweight/obese, inactivity, poor diet, uncontrolled high blood pressure and cholesterol. Luckily, for people with type 2 diabetes, exercise and diet are management tools for the disease, and in some cases insulin isn’t required. Ensuring that you are exercising for at least 150 minutes a week as well as eating a diet high in fruit, vegetables and wholegrains can help manage type 2 diabetes.  

 

Health by Design offers health checks and other corporate health programs to your workplace. These health checks cover blood pressure, blood glucose levels, cholesterol as well as providing a safe and comfortable environment to discuss your health and risk factors for chronic disease with a health professional. We are able to discuss with you your goals and provide any necessary information in the comfort of your own office. Get in contact with us today to find out more.