SENIORS are being urged not to mistake diabetes as normal signs of ageing.
Last week was National Diabetes Week and Diabetes Research WA executive director Sherl Westlund, who lives in South Perth, said it was estimated up to half a million people have Type 2 diabetes but are not aware of it.
“This risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases as people age but at the same time, it can be a more hidden disease in seniors because some of the more common symptoms such as feeling tired and lethargic can simply be put down to ageing,” Ms Westlund said.
“Feeling thirsty all the time and urinating a lot can also be indicators but because some people lose their sense of thirst as they get older, these symptoms may not appear.
“Slow healing wounds, blurred vision and frequent infections can be other signals but, again, may simply be thought to be an issue to do with ageing.
“Our funded research has also shown that Type 2 diabetes can dramatically affect the everyday thinking skills of up to one-in-three adults aged more than 60; another symptom that could easily be chalked up to general ageing.”
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital director of diabetes services and diabetes consultant physician Joey Kaye said the worry for older Australians was missing the early signs of diabetes could put their general health and independence at risk.
To fund more research click here call 9224 1006.