Hunter New England Health say it's time to recognise the signs

Douglas Bellamy
Douglas Bellamy

As part of Diabetes Week the Walcha MPS Local Health Committee is hosting a Diabetes Week education morning tea to urge Walcha residents to take a minute to learn the early signs of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The event will be held at the Walcha Bowling Club this Thursday July 18, from 10:30am.

Walcha MPS manager Douglas Bellamy is on the Local Health Committee and he says knowing the tell-tale signs and regular check-ups with your GP will help you manage your risk.

"There are some tell-tale signs that you may have it but some or none of them may be present," he said.

"At the morning tea there will be a chance to privately identify your risk, then to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk as well as to better manage your diabetes if you already have it."

Mr Bellamy said last year, 4 in every 100 people in Walcha was diagnosed with diabetes.

At the morning tea there will be a chance to privately identify your risk

Douglas Bellamy

"Australia-wide there are 300 people newly diagnosed every day," he said.

"It's estimated that half-a-million Australians have diabetes and don't know it. Statistically some of them will live in Walcha. Take the time to learn about the disease and see your GP."

Symptoms for Type 1 diabetes are the 4Ts: thirst, tiredness, becoming thinner (and hungrier) and toilet.

"Being thirsty and constantly running to the toilet is the body's way of trying to flush out the glucose, resulting in a vicious cycle," Mr Bellamy said.

"Symptoms for Type 2 are similar, but also include blurred vision and slow-healing wounds. Apparently bacteria is attracted to the sweeter body fluids!"

The bottom line is: there's no excuse. It's your choice

While being overweight predisposes you to the disease (as does genetics and ethnicity), Diabetes Australia advise that being thin does not necessarily protect you and you still have to be tested.

"It's important to be tested because ongoing high blood sugar levels can cause serious complications, such stroke, blindness, kidney and cardiac problems as well as anxiety and depression," Mr Bellamy said.

The Diabetes Australia website states that in Australia 4400 amputations a year are due to diabetes.

"Being older, overweight and leading a sedentary lifestyle puts people at particular risk," Mr Bellamy said.

"In addition to seeing your GP for regular blood tests your GP can provide advice about undertaking exercise and a healthy diet. The bottom line is: there's no excuse. It's your choice."

Diabetes Australia (the third oldest diabetes association in the world, after the United Kingdom and Portugal) is behind Diabetes Week across Australia and this year the theme 'It's about time'.

For more information go to https://diabetesnsw.com.au or call 1300 342 238.