Diabetes is a chronic condition where the blood glucose level is too high. This is can be a result of either the body not producing enough insulin, or the insulin produced no longer works effectively.
- Diabetes affects approximately 1.7 million Australians and half don’t know they have it
- 275 people are diagnosed each DAY
- 42.6% of Victorian workers have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes while a further 23.5% are at high risk
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes accounting for 85-90% of all cases. It is referred to as a lifestyle condition as it is a result of excess weight, poor diet and/or sedentary behaviour. It is often linked with heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
Type 2 diabetes generally has no symptoms – your first symptom maybe be eye/feet problems or a heart attack. Therefore, it is critical to have regular check-ups with your doctor. The test for diabetes is a simple fasting glucose test. The normal fasting glucose level should be less than 5.5 mmol/L.
What are the main risk factors for diabetes:
- Being overweight or obese – being overweight increases your risk x 2, and if you are obese your risk increases 4 fold. Waist circumference is an easy indicator -(men should be < 94 cm, women < 80 cm)
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of diabetes
- Having pre-diabetes – if left untreated your risk of developing diabetes increases x 10-20
- If you’re a smoker – smokers are 50% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-smokers
- Certain ethnic groups
- Certain medications
- If you had diabetes while pregnant
Pre-diabetes or ‘borderline diabetes’ is the stage before diabetes. If diagnosed at this point, the development of diabetes can be reversed through lifestyle modifications including following a healthy diet, increasing exercise levels, and weight loss. However, if left untreated, the risk of developing diabetes increases 10-20 times, at which point it become an irreversible condition. A diagnosis of pre-diabetes is a warning/action point to prevent the onset of diabetes. This is another good reason to have your fasting glucose level checked. Know your numbers!
If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes you may benefit from some advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian to help you manage your condition. Contact Nutted Out Nutrition if you would like to know more about healthy eating and diabetes.