Diabetes is recognised as one of the world’s fastest growing chronic conditions, yet one in every two adults with diabetes remains undiagnosed.
If left untreated it can cause a number of long-term and potentially life-threatening health concerns such as heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease and peripheral vascular disease (reduced circulation of blood to the body).
During World Diabetes Day, November 14, Cabrini is encouraging people to seek appropriate treatment to manage their diabetes and to visit a GP if they are experiencing symptoms.
Credentialled Diabetes Educator Felicity McAvaney said people needed to be aware of the risk factors and to be vigilant about getting checked.
There are three main types of diabetes – Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes.
“People at a higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes are those who are overweight, over the age of 55, have a family history of diabetes, are from certain ethnic backgrounds and women who have previously had gestational diabetes” Ms McAvaney said.
“Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease that can occur at any age. Unfortunately we do not know what causes it and there is no way of preventing it.”
Symptoms of diabetes include thirst, fatigue, frequent urination and dramatic weight loss over a short period of time.
Ms McAvaney said while diabetes was a lifelong condition, with careful management people could lead normal, fulfilling lives.
“By managing diabetes well, people can keep their blood glucose levels stable and can avoid all of the complications that come with diabetes,” she said.
“Diabetes educators can teach people how to manage their condition so it doesn’t deteriorate or cause other health issues.”
“There have been significant technological advances in recent years in the management of diabetes and these are expected to continue into the future, which will make life a lot easier for people living with the condition.”
Ms McAvaney said World Diabetes Day helped to shine a light on the disease and recognise that many people are still undiagnosed.
“Diabetes can be diagnosed by a simple blood test so there is no excuse for not getting tested if you are at a high risk or are experiencing symptoms” She said.
“Diabetes can be easy to ignore but it is important that people take notice of the warning signs and seek treatment.”
Cabrini has dedicated diabetes programs for both inpatients and outpatients, with qualified diabetes educators who can help give patients the tools they need to successfully manage their diabetes.
Our Diabetes Education Service is run by a team of highly-skilled and qualified diabetes educators, who are able manage every type of diabetes and are trained in all of the latest technologies, including insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring.
Cabrini runs four outpatient clinics a week, including a Gestational Diabetes clinic every Tuesday with a diabetes educator and dietitian.
Patients do not need a referral to access Cabrini’s outpatient clinics and can make an appointment by phoning the Allied Health Centre on 9508 1400 or visit our website.