Australia has just completed National Diabetes Week (July 14-20), which raises awareness of the plight of almost 1.1 million people currently diagnosed with diabetes.
Recent research indicates that by 2025, up to three million Australians over the age of 25 years will have diabetes.
PSCML chief executive Paul Hersey said there were 6915 potentially preventable hospitalisations within the PSCML region as a result of complications of diabetes from 2006 to 2010.
While Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition, Type 2 diabetes is in many cases preventable and can be triggered by lifestyle.
Statistically, for every person diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, there is another who is undiagnosed. This is because they may not experience any signs, or the signs are too vague to visit the doctor.
Risk factors for Type 2 include having a family history of diabetes, being over 40 years of age, being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Melanesian, Polynesian, Chinese or Indian descent, being a woman who has had gestational diabetes or who has polycystic ovary syndrome, having a mental health condition, and having a history of heart disease.
But there are many manageable risk factors including being overweight, having a waist measurement over 80cm for women and over 94cm for men, being physically inactive, not having a healthy diet, smoking, and having high cholesterol or blood pressure.
‘The Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool allows people to identify their level of risk for diabetes,’ Mr Hersey said.
Perth South Coastal Medicare Local has a free Living Well With A Long Term Condition program with trained lifestyle educators and diabetes educators in Rockingham, Medina, Mandurah and Waroona.
To make an appointment, call 9439 9500. Visit www.surveygizmo.com/s3/499841/The-Australian-Type-2-Diabetes-Risk-Assessment-Tool-WA to see if you are at risk.