Diabetes is a serious complex condition. There is no cure, and diabetes can have a significant impact on your quality of life and life expectancy, but with daily self-care and effective management you can live an enjoyable, normal life.

If you are worried about your health you can call our confidential support line 24/7 on 1800 667 877.
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Diabetes in Australia

Diabetes Australia reports that 280 Australians develop diabetes every day, and it is the fastest growing chronic condition in this country.

The current statistics from Diabetes Australia estimate that 10% of these are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and 85-90% with type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes is also increasing in prevalence. 

Types of diabetes

There are different types of diabetes; all types are complex and serious. The three main types of diabetes are type 1type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Diabetes type 1

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition that has no cure and can't be prevented. It is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors. 

Diabetes type 2

Type 2 is largely a preventable condition. By modifying behavioural and lifestyle factors the risk decreases. The common risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include:

  • being overweight or obese, obese people are 4 times more likely to develop diabetes type 2, and overweight people are twice as likely to develop diabetes
  • carrying excess weight around the waist
  • insufficient physical activity
  • unhealthy diet, and 
  • high blood pressure.

Those with a family history of diabetes have a genetic disposition to developing type 2 diabetes.

Genes have also been identified as increasing the risk of diabetes type 2 in some cultural backgrounds including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Chinese, South Asian, Indian, and Pacific Islander people. Although inherited genes may influence the development of type 2 diabetes, modification of behaviour and lifestyle are the most important preventative measures.

Associated risks

Potential complications are the same for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and include heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, limb amputation, depression, anxiety and blindness.

We know diabetes:

  • is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults
  • is a leading cause of kidney failure and dialysis
  • increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to 4 times
  • is a major cause of limb amputations, and
  • affects physical health as well as mental health — depression, anxiety and distress occur in more than 30% of all people with diabetes.

For more information visit Diabetes Australia.

What can I do next?

Why not read some of our articles on staying healthy that relate to diabetes:

Our service provides free and confidential support 24/7, to nurses, midwives and students Australia wide. If you would like to speak to someone call 1800 667 877, or you can request support via email.

If you would like to know a bit more about the service before getting in contact — take a look through accessing support.

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