LIFESTYLE choices and early prevention are top priorities for the Boggabri Medical Centre team during this year’s National Diabetes Week.
Running from July 8 to 14, National Diabetes Week is designed to help promote awareness about a chronic condition that affects an estimated 2.4 million Australians.
The Boggabri Medical Centre team is hoping to use the week as a way to inform locals about both type one and type two diabetes, and the role a healthy lifestyle can play in managing the condition.
Ochre Health GP, Dr Oshi Gunawardhana, told the Namoi Valley Independent type two diabetes can affect people of all ages.
“Obesity and lifestyle choices such as lack of exercise and diet are the leading causes of type two diabetes Dr Gunawardhana said.
“It can affect people of any age, particularly if they have a family history of type two diabetes.
“It’s never too early to get checked out and if anyone out there is a bit concerned, then my best suggestion is, visit your GP.”
The Boggabri GP said type two diabetes was very manageable with plenty of support on offer to help people manage the condition.
“I don’t think people really tend to grasp the impact that type two diabetes has on every part of the body,” she said.
“That’s why awareness week’s like this one are so important, they are also a great way to let people know what help is out there.
“At the moment there are many great medications and treatments that help people manage it, as well as government subsidised diabetes risk assessments for people aged 40 to 49.
“There is plenty of help on offer and people with it can still have a long life expectancy, if they continue to consult with their doctor regularly and focus on having an improved lifestyle.”
Dr Gunawardhana said while less common, type one diabetes accounts for 10 per cent of all diabetes cases in Australia and often affects children.
“Type one diabetes can be quite difficult to manage particularly in children,” she said.
“It can at times be quite distressing for families when it does affect children, but there is help available.
“The important thing is to try and identify the early symptoms, such as severe thirst and a need to go to the toilet regularly.
“As well as that, it’s important for families to do their best to fully understand type one diabetes and consult with their doctor regularly.
“So, regardless if it’s type one or type two diabetes, there is help available, if anyone is concerned, my best advice is to visit your doctor.”
For diabetes support, contact The National Diabetes Support Scheme hotline, on 1300 136 588.