Each day 298 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes, but too many people are being diagnosed too late. Whether it’s type 1 or type 2, this delay in diagnosis is putting people at risk of major health problems.
Every year as many as 640 Australian’s end up in hospital with dangerously high blood glucose levels because the early symptoms of type 1 diabetes – severe fatigue, thirst and weight loss – are not recognised. Around half of these hospital admissions are children and teens and if not diagnosed in time type 1 diabetes can be fatal.
In addition, almost half million Australian’s are living with are living with type 2 diabetes but don’t know it. That’s because the condition is “silent” and can occur without obvious symptoms. Many people can live with diabetes for up to 7 years before it is diagnosed and by this time may have developed a serious complication like vision loss, kidney damage, foot ulcers, even damage to their heart and vascular system.
Recognise the signs and act fast
Type 1 diabetes
People living with type 1 diabetes experience the 4 T’s – toilet, thirsty, tired and thinner. If you, a family member or a friend are experiencing any combination of the following symptoms, visit your doctor and get checked.
- Toilet: need to go to the toilet more often than normal
- Thirsty: experiencing unusual thirst, even when drinking high volumes of water
- Tired: feeling tired and run down
- Thinner: losing weight with no discernible cause
Type 2 diabetes
A number of factors can contribute to type 2 diabetes including age, ethnicity, family history and lifestyle. The perception that type 2 diabetes is just a lifestyle disease is inaccurate and adds a sense of shame to a type 2 diagnosis. Regardless of the cause, people living with the condition need to be able to talk openly about it and have the support of their families, doctors and community to take the steps they need to improve their health.
Factors contributing to type 2 diabetes include:
- Family history
- Poor lifestyle
Early detection leads to better protection.
Diabetes doesn’t discriminate. That’s why this National Diabetes Week we’ll be working to raise awareness of the signs of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Because with earlier detection we can reduce the risk of Australian’s developing life threatening health problems and in turn save lives.
Click on images to download posters.