Diabetes is a chronic disease that is growing rapidly in Australia. According to Diabetes Australia, 280 Australians develop diabetes everyday. Type 2 diabetes normally develops in people who are over age of 45 but there are increasing cases in younger age group.
The Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (AUSDRISK) is a useful tool to find out if you are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. This can be done at home or with a GP. You can download this tool from the internet. If you score over 6, it is best to see a GP for further discussion and possible further assessment. If you score 12 or over, you may have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes or at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. If your age is between 40-49 years old, you are eligible to have a health assessment every 3 years with a GP.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, you will need to work closely with your team of health professionals to ensure your diabetes is under control. This is so that you can lead a healthy life and prevent getting complications from diabetes. These complications include high blood pressure which can lead to heart and blood vessel disease, kidney disease, stroke, nerve damage and eye problems.
A GP can organise blood tests to ensure your cholesterol and blood sugar levels are to target. He or she can also make sure your blood pressure is under control, your vaccinations are up to date, administer your annual flu vaccination and check your weight/waist measurements.
Your health care team normally consists of a GP, diabetes educator, dietitian, podiatrist, ophthalmologist/optometrist and pharmacist. Other allied health professionals include exercise physiologist who can help you work out an exercise plan if you have trouble losing weight and psychologist if you are finding it hard to cope with diabetes or feeling down.
If you have any concerns or questions in regard to diabetes, seek advice from a GP or diabetes educator. You can also find further useful information from Diabetes Australia website.
I speak Chinese (Mandarin) for those patients who prefer to speak in mother tongue. Our clinic also has a website in Chinese. (黄金海岸Bundall 家庭医生诊所)