Diabetes is a serious, life-long disorder for which there is no cure.
It is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease – in Western Australia alone it is estimated that 28 people are diagnosed with diabetes every day.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system destroys cells in the pancreas, stopping it from producing the essential hormone insulin. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. Learn more about type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin or loses the capacity to produce enough insulin. Learn more about type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that research show type 2 diabetes can be largely prevented with a healthy lifestyle. This means maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active on most (if not all) days of the week, and eating a healthy diet.
There is also strong evidence that even people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of this condition by following a healthy lifestyle.
Measure your risk
Knowing if you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes is important. The sooner diabetes is diagnosed and managed, the less likely it is that you will develop serious complications. Remember, type 2 diabetes is a silent condition, so you might not know you have it. For every person diagnosed, there is likely to be another who goes undiagnosed.
If you are concerned that you may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, speak to your general practitioner as soon as possible. You can also call 13 RISK (13 7475). If you want to make improvements to your lifestyle, check out the healthy lifestyle programs run by Diabetes WA.