Colleen Thompson has diabetes and warns people should be careful and manage it properly.
Colleen Thompson has diabetes and warns people should be careful and manage it properly. Mike Knott

Type 2 diabetes blocks vital beds

TYPE 2 diabetes sufferer Colleen Thompson has urged those with the disease to follow their doctor’s instructions to avoid clogging the hospital system with preventable illness.

“There are so many things that can go wrong, like your kidneys can fail,” she said.

The Millbank woman’s pleas come after Diabetes Australia found one in five beds, or 11,645 bed days, in Bundaberg Hospital were taken up by people with diabetes.

Mrs Thompson said those living with diabetes needed to remain constant with the treatment of the disease.

“Get exercise, take your tablets and record your blood glucose levels each day,” she said.

“I know a lot of people put it down as normal every day, but if your blood glucose goes up to 16 you have to write it down.”

She said ignoring glucose levels could make someone very ill, but she also understood mistakes could be made.

“I know when I was first diagnosed, I was just told so much information that day that I knew it would take a while before I got my head around it,” she said.

Diabetes Australia — Queensland CEO Michelle Trute said more than 30% of preventable hospital admissions in 2007 and 2008 in Australia were related to diabetes and its complications.

“Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st Century and the driver of premature death and serious complications including heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, blindness and amputation,” she said.

Mrs Trute said people with diabetes were twice as likely to have a heart attack, four times as likely to have a stroke and a third of people starting treatment for end-stage kidney disease did so because of their diabetes.

“Every person living in Bundaberg should be aware of their risk of diabetes — especially people over 40, those who are overweight or those who have a family history of type 2 diabetes.”

Diabetes problems

A survey found most people could not name diabetes complications

Only a third identified heart disease

6% identified stroke

Less than a fifth identified kidney/renal disease; and

22% could name amputation as a serious complication.

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