There are more than 100,000 Queenslanders already living with Type 2 Diabetes who don’t know it.
This National Diabetes Week (July 9-15), Diabetes Queensland wants to let you know that type 2 diabetes can remain hidden for 10 years or more.
“Anyone can develop diabetes and you don’t have to be old or overweight,” Diabetes Queensland CEO Adjunct Professor Michelle Trute said. “Your future depends on finding out if you’re one of the 100,000.”
While you’re doing your best to ignore symptoms and thinking you’ll deal with it when you have to, the imbalance of glucose in your bloodstream is affecting your arteries, heart, kidneys and most other organs in your body.
You can check your risk of type 2 diabetes by visiting the Diabetes Queensland website or ask your doctor to check at your next visit.
Symptoms include passing urine more often, especially at night; increased thirst; extreme tiredness; unexplained weight loss; slow healing of cuts and wounds; blurred vision.
In almost 60 per cent of cases, being informed about your risk of diabetes lets you slow its advance. Early diagnosis can prevent the onset of serious diabetes-related complications that might otherwise lead to a heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney disease or lower limb amputations.
Within health professional circles, this National Diabetes Week, Diabetes Queensland will also be raising awareness about the sudden onset of type 1 diabetes and the danger that may result if diagnosis is delayed.
One of the big frustrations for our members with type 1 diabetes is that people don’t know the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Find out if you have diabetes before you have a complication because you weren’t diagnosed earlier with the condition.
Queensland toddler Kingston Shooter was diagnosed in Mackay Hospital with type 1 diabetes when he was 10 months old.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. It can develop at any age but generally occurs in children and young adults. It cannot be prevented.
Type 1 diabetes needs to be diagnosed quickly, and people with the condition have to inject insulin daily for the rest of their lives.
Type 2 diabetes is related to lifestyle factors in 60 per cent of cases. However, 40 per cent of people living with type 2 diabetes could not have prevented it.
Despite widespread belief that type 2 diabetes can be cured, once it has developed it is a lifelong condition. It can sometimes be managed solely by healthy eating and exercise, but it remains in the system.
“It takes less than two minutes to check your risk of developing type 2 diabetes online,” Prof Trute said. “This National Diabetes Week put yourself first and find out if you’re one of the Queenslanders who need to start treatment.
“We all tend to look the other way when it comes to our health, but you are so much better off being in control of your diabetes rather than the other way around.”