Lifestyle a factor in type 2 diabetes
IT'S National Diabetes Week and pharmacists and doctors are urging the Bundaberg community to make themselves aware of the potentially life threatening disease.
New research released by Diabetes Australia shows that three out of four people substantially underestimate the prevalence of diabetes and more than 60% of people don't link diabetes to its major complications including heart attacks, stroke, anxiety and depression.
"This study of over 1000 Australians highlights most people still underestimate the vast number of people developing diabetes, and the serious health complications of diabetes if it's not diagnosed and managed," says Diabetes Australia CEO Greg Johnson.
"People also tend to underestimate their personal risk. Two out of three people older than 55 years or younger than 24 years stated that they are not at risk."
Type 2 diabetes represents 85-90% of all cases of diabetes and is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas.
Chemist Warehouse pharmacist Zamil Hussen said lifestyle choices were a big factor in developing the disease.
"It can be genetic but it also has a lot to do with unhealthy eating and lack of exercise," he said.
Mr Hussen said type 2 diabetes affeced a range of ages.
"The older generation used to be most at risk of developing type 2 diabetes but now people of all ages are susceptible to the disease," he said.
"In particular, we are seeing a trend with middle aged people and young children."
"Preventing or managing diabetes comes down to keeping a healthy diet and exercising."
ARE YOU AT RISK?
You are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes if you:
Have a family history of diabetes
Are older (over 55 years of age )
Are over 45 years of age and are overweight
Are over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure
Are over 35 years of age and are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
Are over 35 years of age and are from Pacific Island, Indian subcontinent or Chinese cultural background
Are a woman who has given birth to a child over 4.5 kgs, or had gestational diabetes when pregnant, or had a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome.
For more information, visit www.diabetes australia.com.au.