Diabetes diagnosis a call to action
ANDREW Walker says a diabetes diagnosis was the “kick in the bum” he needed to quit drinking and smoking and lose weight.
Mr Walker (42), who works at The Atrium in Perth, was diagnosed with pre-diabetes 12 months ago before being diagnosed with type 2 in March.
His colleagues urged him to see his GP after his long-range vision dropped out at work in March.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition where the body still produces some insulin but that insulin is either ineffective or there is not enough of it.
Subiaco-based Diabetes WA figures showed type 2 accounted for 87 per cent of all people with diabetes and those diagnosed with pre-diabetes were 15 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Mr Walker said he had to change his lifestyle after becoming a diabetic.
“I quit drinking alcohol a couple of years ago, I quit smoking in January so I figured next would be losing weight,” he said.
“I was 128kg to start with, I have dropped down to 118kg; I’d like to get to about 90kg.”
Mr Walker said his loss of long-range vision was temporary as it was a “by-product” of high blood sugar levels.
“I went to my general practitioner and explained my symptoms,” he said. “When they tested my blood sugar, it was at 21mmol/l and it turned out I had developed type 2 diabetes.”
He said people who were diagnosed with pre-diabetes should get regular check-ups and education to prevent full diagnosis.
“Last year, I had torn a muscle in my groin and I went to Fiona Stanley Hospital,” he said.
“They took urine and found there was protein in it and they said that I was pre-diabetic, which didn’t really mean anything to me at the time.
“The term ‘pre-diabetic’ didn’t have the impact it should have.”
National Diabetes Week is from July 9 to 15.
CHANGING a lifestyle because of a health condition like type 2 diabetes is admirable and inspiring.
Regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction can manage type 2 diabetes.
It takes many sacrifices to quit smoking and drinking, on top of a completely new diet. While it is difficult to deal with a progressive condition, leading a healthier life is beneficial.
However, there needs to be more education and information available for pre-diabetics.
If pre-diabetes was taken more seriously, then the high percentage of people developing type 2 after being diagnosed with pre-diabetes would drop.
Whether it be preventing diagnosis or managing it after diagnosis, it is important to pay attention to detail to ensure the condition does not worsen over time.
More people should follow the footsteps of Andrew Walker to improve their lifestyle for better health in the long run.
Kristie Lim, reporter
Bedford resident Andrew Walker had a dramatic type 2 diabetes diagnosis when he suddenly lost long-range vision at work.