This month, we celebrate National Diabetes Week that runs between 12th and 18th July to raise awareness, educate on its prevention and management and how GPs can support in taking charge of diabetes.
Diabetes remains a major health concern for Australians affecting almost 6% of the adult Australian population and creating a huge hospitalisation rate across all regions. According to a survey conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, an estimated 2.7 billion of medical expenditure was attributed to Diabetes.
With Diabetes also being a silent killer, the best way to prevent it is to learn more about this condition and simply visit your doctor more often.
Why raise awareness?
Diabetes doesn’t discriminate between age or gender, it can affect anyone, although there are vulnerable groups that are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with the condition.
Most of the diabetes cases are Type 2, where there are no visible symptoms, so people won’t be aware of a condition without intervention. Type 2 represents almost 85% of diabetes cases. This means many of us are currently diabetic without knowing it.
- Awareness is the key approach to a healthy life. People aware of their medical condition are more vigilant, better prepared and tend to be active with their doctors.
- Awareness empowers people, communities and medical health professionals to make better decisions.
- A well-informed community can reduce the burden on our medical system.
- Awareness improves knowledge on the disease, medication, management and prevention.
Diabetes prevention and management
We believe a change in lifestyle and diabetes education is a vital step towards diabetes prevention and its management. You can still live a very active life with diabetes, but it all comes down to your effort.
Diabetes prevention is an easy start. The basics have to be correct, eating healthy, getting active, regular check-ups, consultation and maintaining good mental health. Let’s discuss some diabetes prevention tips as recommended by experts:
- Getting more active: Participate in physical activities or even regular walks or running can help reduce weight, strengthen your body, proper heart functioning. There are plenty of other benefits including higher water consumption and lower blood glucose level.
- Concentrate on your food: Avoiding highly processed food, sugary beverages and food with trans fats is recommended. If you’re Type 2 diabetic, a strict diet regime is necessary. To know more about food, read this food guide on “Best food for people with Diabetes”.
- Weight Management: A healthy BMI is always beneficial. Diabetes can create more severe health issues if you’re overweight or obese. Reducing your weight also reduces your risk of being diagnosed with diabetes.
- See a doctor: If you’re at a risk or in your mid-40s and above, a regular glucose screening is recommended. A risk calculator by Diabetes Australia can help you decide your stance on diabetes.
- Go for regular screenings: A regular blood test is vital for your diabetes health. It can also reveal other medical conditions that need further medical investigation.
How can a GP help you?
Your GPs are well-qualified and undergo professional training and learning to develop a management plan for Diabetes. At our clinic, our GPs are highly experienced in conducting an “annual cycle of care” for diabetes prevention and management.
They can provide guidance and indulge in patient education to recommend ways to prevent diabetes and living healthy.
GPs can provide referrals to a specialist in case there’s a need.
Having regular health checks with your GP can reduce your risk of developing diabetes. It’s national diabetes week and a great reminder if you’ve noticed changes in your general health to speak with your GP for a proper assessment.