Clock ticks by as di­a­betes spreads

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Westernopinion -

IN 50 min­utes, your favourite TV show will still be on; the Dock­ers will still be play­ing the Ea­gles and in 50 min­utes, another per­son in Western Aus­tralia will be di­ag­nosed with di­a­betes.

Di­a­betes is the fastest grow­ing chronic con­di­tion in Aus­tralia. The grow­ing preva­lence of the con­di­tion is con­cern­ing but even more con­cern­ing is that peo­ple do not re­alise how se­ri­ous, and life chang­ing, the con­di­tion is.

Type 1 di­a­betes is an au­toim­mune con­di­tion that can­not be pre­vented, while type 2 di­a­betes is as­so­ci­ated with risk fac­tors such as ge­net­ics, fam­ily history and eth­nic back­ground.

Mod­i­fy­ing weight, ac­tiv­ity and eat­ing pat­terns are now the only way to pre­vent or de­lay type 2 di­a­betes. Both con­di­tions are se­ri­ous and life chang­ing.

Along with the ev­ery­day chal­lenges, peo­ple with di­a­betes are at risk of a se­ries of com­pli­ca­tions in­clud­ing limb am­pu­ta­tions, blind­ness and kid­ney fail­ure.

They are also up to four times more likely to have a heart at­tack or stroke.

It is a se­ri­ous con­di­tion that has an enor­mous im­pact on those who are di­ag­nosed and the fam­ily mem­ber or carer who also “lives with di­a­betes” ev­ery day in a sup­port role.

This week (July 12 - 18) is Na­tional Di­a­betes Week – a time to raise aware­ness of di­a­betes in the com­mu­nity.

This year, as Di­a­betes WA cel­e­brates 50 years of ser­vice to the WA com­mu­nity, let us also celebrate those peo­ple who live with di­a­betes ev­ery day of their lives.

An­drew Wagstaff, chief ex­ec­u­tive, Di­a­betes WA

Su­bi­aco.

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