Type 2 diabetes is preventable in most instances
The obesity epidemic in Australia is driving an increase in type 2 diabetes.
87 per cent of NSW coal mine workers are currently classified as overweight or obese. This means that a large number of workers are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes (and cardiovascular disease). Diabetes Australia reports that up to 60 per cent of all cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented by people maintaining a healthy weight through diet and lifestyle changes. A small weight loss (5-10 per cent of body weight) can make a big difference and assist with both managing and preventing diabetes.
Facts about diabetes
(Source: Diabetes Australia)
- More than 300 Australians develop diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes
- Almost 1.9 million Australians have diabetes
- Almost 120,000 Australian have developed diabetes in the past year
- Diabetes is the seventh most common cause of death by disease in Australia
When someone has diabetes, their body is unable to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood. Our bodies need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy so we function properly. A hormone called insulin is essential in this process. With diabetics, insulin is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts by the body.
Most diabetics manage their condition well with their diet, tablets and/or insulin injections, but on occasions, if their blood glucose levels become too low they may suffer hypoglycaemia. This is an emergency situation where they may become drowsy, unable to swallow or unconscious. An ambulance must be called immediately. Many diabetics wear a ‘diabetic alert’ bracelet to identify their condition in a hypoglycaemic event.
Signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia:
- weakness, trembling or shaking
- paleness or sweating
- headache or dizziness
- lack of concentration or irritability
- numbness around lips and fingers
- may become unconscious
Consult your local GP if you think you may be suffering, or at risk of diabetes.
The key to long-term protection from lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes is maintaining a healthy diet and undertaking regular physical activity.
For more information visit Diabetes Australia.