Every day 280 Australians develop diabetes. The National television advertisement launched during this week will show 280 images of people, some with the complications of diabetes such as heart disease or stroke and some managing their diabetes. The campaign theme this year is to increase knowledge and understanding in the community about diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes does not develop overnight, over time the pancreas loses its ability to secrete enough insulin, resulting in increasing blood sugar levels. A slightly raised blood glucose level may be a sign of glucose intolerance and greater risk of developing diabetes, identifying this risk gives you the chance to take measures to prevent Type 2 diabetes developing.

Risk Factors for developing diabetes include:

  • Being older than 55 yrs
  • Overweight or obese
  • Weight stored around the waist rather than hips and legs
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Inactivity
  • Being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island, Indian, Middle east or Northern African descent
  • Having polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Having slightly raised blood sugars

Diagnosis : the tests are straightforward to establish or rule out a diagnosis of diabetes

  • Fasting blood glucose measure
  • Glycosylated haemoglobin, a non-fasting blood test that is able to indicate to average levels of blood sugar over the past 6-8 weeks
  • Oral glucose tolerance test, used when the diagnosis is uncertain and charts the blood glucose levels over time following a glucose drink. This test can also demonstrate warning signs of raised blood sugar, but not diabetes.

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