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Overweight and inactive: Are you a type 2?
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Almost 2,000 Australians will be diagnosed with diabetes this week.   Will you be one of them?

More than half of all Australians are overweight or obese placing them at increased risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Nurse Unit Manager for the Sunshine Coast Diabetes Centre at Nambour, Emma Holland, says diabetes is Australia's fastest growing chronic disease and there is currently no cure.

Every hour in Australia 11 adults will be diagnosed with diabetes.   That is 275 people a day or 1,925 a week.   By 2010 about 1.8 million Australians will have diabetes.

This is National Diabetes week and Ms Holland is urging everyone to look after their health - which may be as simple as doing more physical activity and paying more attention to diet.

She said the two main kinds of diabetes were referred to as type 1 and type 2.

“Type 1 is not caused by lifestyle factors.   Cells in the pancreas fail to produce insulin because they have been destroyed by the immune system,” Ms Holland said.

“Type 2 Diabetes is a disease where the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, where the insulin created is ineffective, or a combination of both,” she said.

“Insulin helps the body to use up glucose as energy, so if there is little or no insulin, glucose builds up in the blood, leading to diabetes.

“Diabetes can lead to potentially lethal complications including heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.

“It can also cause blindness, lower limb amputation and erectile dysfunction, severely affecting quality of life,” Ms Holland said.

Ms Holland said the good news was that type 2 diabetes can be prevented and regular exercise is the key.

A recent Australian study found exercise had a profound impact on insulin sensitivity, thus preventing diabetes, however this effect wore off after 48 hours.    This is why Australian guidelines recommend 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week.

“If exercise was a tablet, we would all be on it,’’ Ms Holland said.

For information on diabetes or the Sunshine Coast Diabetes Centre contact:  5470 5088.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 July 2007 )
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