Diabetes Awareness Week: Beware sneaky chronic disease

This week is Diabetes Awareness Week and Blacktown Hospital experts are encouraging everyone to help prevent type 2 diabetes — the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia.

Many people don't realise the seriousness of developing type 2 diabetes and the ongoing health and lifestyle complications that 

can develop, said diabetes and endocrinology director Mark McLean.

"We estimate that over 200,000 people, or a quarter of the western Sydney population, are likely to be affected by diabetes or pre-diabetes," he said.

"This has doubled in the last decade and by 2025 it has been estimated that the prevalence of diabetes within western Sydney will be 204 per cent higher in men and 147 per cent higher in women."

Prevention tips include a healthy, balanced diet with low sugar and low GI foods, monitoring your fat intake and regular exercise.

"We are encouraging everyone to speak to their doctor about the disease and get tested if they have risk factors including a family history of diabetes, are overweight or elderly, have high blood pressure, or smoke," Dr McLean said.

"The diabetes education and support services at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals offer information and care by dieticians, nurse specialists and podiatrists."

Details: Australian Diabetes Council, 1300 342 238 or http://australiandiabetescouncil.com.

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