During Diabetes Week (8-14 July) Wimmera Health Care Group wants people to think about their risk of diabetes.

Wimmera Health Care Group diabetes educator Sophie Ingoldsby said the annual awareness week was a good time for people to learn about the seriousness and prevalence of Type 2 diabetes and she encouraged everyone to check their risk.

Ms Ingoldsby said the incidence of diabetes is on the rise, last year 100,000 Australian’s developed the chronic condition. It is estimated there are 500 000 people nationwide who have Type 2 Diabetes and don’t know it.

"If you are over 40 or have any worrying symptoms make time to see your doctor because health outcomes are improved when signs and symptoms are followed up earlier," Ms Ingoldsby said.

"You can also go to www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/risk-calculator to check your risk of Type 2 Diabetes."

Initial symptoms of diabetes include extreme thirst, frequent urination and fatigue. In Type 2 Diabetes these symptoms may increase slowly and the first time a person realises they have the disease is when they develop complications such as a non-healing wound, heart attack, kidney problems or blindness.

There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 predominantly is diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood and occurs when the body starts attacking its own insulin producing cells. Type 2 is largely a lifestyle disease related to obesity which gradually worsens over time.

Diabetes Week is also an opportunity to acknowledge those in the Wimmera community, who are living everyday with diabetes.

"There are many young local people with Type 1 Diabetes, which requires insulin injections every day and frequent finger pricks to check blood glucose levels," Ms Ingoldsby said.

"Having to manage diabetes with insulin requires an average of 21 decisions every day.

"There is good news with diabetes research progressing at a rapid rate over the last few years. Blood glucose can now be monitored with sensors giving a continuous readout of glucose levels. This has lessened the need for stinging fingers and increased peace of mind for many."

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