In the last blog, I talked about knowing your chronic disease risk factors. For most people, this will have been put in the ‘that doesn’t apply to me box….. It seems bringing up the issue was quite timely! (Yay, I got something right!)
It was right, because it was World Health Day last Thursday and it was solely dedicated to targeting and ‘beating’ diabetes. FYI Diabetes is one of the chronic diseases with lifestyle risk factors I was referring to!
Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to give a massive pat on the back to anyone who lives with diabetes. It is relentless and unforgiving for the sufferer and those around them, especially carers of young people with Type 1 – you’re awesome!
This is probably also the right time to point out the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
As according to Diabetes Australia, Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. We do not know what causes this auto-immune reaction. Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors. There is no cure and it cannot be prevented.
Diabetes Australia says Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas. We do not know what causes type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors. Type 2 diabetes also has strong genetic and family related risk factors.
Did you know the difference? Here’s a challenge for you – go and tell someone else about the why these conditions are so different.
Make it your conversation starter for the week. Or you could also share the staggering statistic, that 1 in 11 people have diabetes (World Health Organisation) or that if – Diabetes was a country, it would be the third largest in the world (Diabetes NSW). Everyone likes to be the bearer of good news, sorry, its not you today! (when you start the conversation).
People with Type 1 Diabetes account for 10-15% of all diabetes cases. The management of this condition can be heartbreaking and exhausting! It’s a condition close to my heart and an imminent cure is most certainly on my hopes and dreams list, as I’m sure it is for every other affected person and their families.
Back to the main story (!) – for the purpose of this discussion, we are talking predominantly about Type 2 Diabetes – as its the one that is preventable, and also the one posing a major global health challenge.
As responsible humans, we need to recognise and talk about Type 2 Diabetes, no longer can we as a society, ignore it in any way! In fact, we need to take concentrated action to make a change.
Sturt Eastwood, the Diabetes NSW CEO, recently told the Huffington Post ‘… Australians need to learn to read the signs of diabetes better.’
Do you know if you are suffering early symptoms or have you used the AUSDRISK assessment tool? A list of symptoms can be found at: https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/type-2-diabetes
You can thank me later, I’ve helped you out here. You can do YOUR assessment at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/diabetesRiskAssessmentTool
This tool calculates a risk category and advises you on what, if any action, you should take. I say it again, the best action you can take is to know your risk! What would be even better is if you shared this knowledge and risk assessment tool with someone around you who you think might also benefit??
Apologies if this is a bit confronting, but at some stage you might just be grateful you read this blog. Maybe you haven’t been feeling quite right and it is just the call to action you have been searching for?
I say it again, its about managing your health and taking concentrated action to be the best you can be!