Diabetes is the fastest-growing chronic illness in Australia, with numbers set to more than double from 1.5 million to 3.5 million in the next 20 years if nothing is done to address the escalating problem.
Education is the key to preventing the diabetes epidemic from becoming a public health crisis.
Every day, an estimated 275 Australians are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes which can lead to serious complications such as renal disease, eye disease and even amputations.
The good news is that up to 60 per cent of cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle changes.
The New England Medicare Local is focused on educating people about the risk factors for type 2 diabetes so they can assess whether they need to make changes to their diet and exercise habits in order to prevent the onset of this serious illness.
Knowing your family history of diabetes, whether you are overweight, your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are all important factors in determining your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
It’s important to make lifestyle changes that are sustainable in order to reduce your risk.
Introducing small changes like drinking water instead of soft drink or juice, switching from white bread to wholemeal or walking to work can make a big difference.
To help spread the word about prevention on World Diabetes Day, New England Medicare Local staff in Tamworth will be having their blood glucose levels checked, sharing a healthy morning tea and participating in a diabetes quiz.
Aboriginal clients attending the weekly tai chi class on Wednesday will also be offered blood glucose tests.
For more information about what is happening in your area on World Diabetes Day, contact your nearest New England Medicare Local office or visit our website www.neml.org.au