Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that can be acquired due to poor health choices, although genetics can also play a part. It is one of the top killer diseases all over the world as well as a massive burden to countries’ health care industry.
Diabetes, according to the World Health Organization, occurs when the body is not able to properly process glucose which comes from the food that we with. This results in high blood sugar levels that, if left untreated for prolonged periods of time, can lead to various serious complications.
There were 1.6 million deaths directly attributed to diabetes in 2016. More have died due to complications caused by this condition. Over half a billion people are currently afflicted with diabetes, and it is one of the top causes of death in recent years.
This article discusses how common diabetes is in Australia. It also provides additional information about the disease and how this condition can be prevented. This article also discusses initiatives by the government to help control the spread and impact of this epidemic.
What Causes Diabetes?
Diabetes based on the type, can be caused by a number of different factors. Type 1 diabetes, for example, is most genetic and hereditary in nature, while those who suffer from gestational diabetes during pregnancy also makes them more susceptible to Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is mainly caused by, essentially, a constant overload of glucose in the body. This is mostly caused by an unhealthy diet filled with high carb and fat intake. A sedentary lifestyle will also cause obesity, which further increases the risk of diabetes.
Other habits that exacerbate diabetes are smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, and experiencing a lot of stress. There are those, however, who still develop this type of diabetes even when living a healthy lifestyle.
The risk of contracting diabetes also increases with age due to changes in how the body processes food. In some cases, ethnicity will also play a factor.
Information About Diabetes in Australia
In Australia, it is estimated that there are around 1.7 people who are living with diabetes. However, about half of a million of those are expected to not be diagnosed properly, which is even a bigger danger as the condition is not being treated, leading to further progression of the disease.
Based on data gathered from the National Diabetes Services Scheme or NDSS, almost 300 Australians contract diabetes each day. This does not include those who are living with or have developed pre-diabetes, a condition where in a person is suffering from high blood sugar levels but is not yet high considered high enough for the person to be classified as diabetic.
The Australian government’s Department of Health also states that diabetes is now more common than ever, with recorded incidences doubling from a span of 15 years. Since 2015, the average increase of diabetics in the country is between 4 to 5 percent.
It is estimated that, of all total cases of diabetes in the country, 85% is suffering from Type 2 diabetes, while the rest are suffering from either gestational diabetes or Type 1 diabetes. It was also reported that 6% of women in Australia suffered from gestational diabetes after giving birth during a two-year span.
Treatment of People with Diabetes
As of the moment, there is no known cure for diabetes. Treatment, however, is possible in order to minimize or slow the onset of the condition. This, along with treatment for complications brought upon by diabetes, costs Australia over 14 billion dollars annually.
The most common type of treatment for diabetics is for blood sugar level maintenance. This is usually done through routine insulin injections. For more serious cases, however, treatment and care for complications will take up most of the patients’ time and health expenses.
While an endocrinologist is the specialist that will usually look at cases involving diabetes, diabetics may also need to visit different specialist to treat the various conditions brought about by the disease.
High blood pressure, fungal infections, kidney disease, eye degeneration, and numbness are just some of the conditions that may require further attention.
Those who are afflicted with diabetes are expected to live shorter than expected. However, with proper care and good lifestyle changes, this figure can be reached as well as exceeded.
Diabetes Related Programs and Initiatives
In order to minimize the risk of diabetes for Australian citizens as well as to assist those who are currently suffering from the disease, the Australian government has set up various programs and projects to serve these purposes.
Both the Medical Benefits Schedule and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme are government-run programs that provide health care and subsidies for treatment and medicines for various chronic conditions, including diabetes. All Australian citizens are automatically included in the program.
The National Diabetes Services Scheme is another initiative that aims to provide to the public significant knowledge about diabetes, as well as provide subsidized products needed for diabetic care such as syringes, insulin pumps, and blood sugar test strips, among others.
In addition, the National Health and Medical Research Council, or NHMRC, is a major research body that aims to, among other studies, discover new ways to improve upon current diabetic care treatment and procedures.
Statistics regarding diabetes sufferers in the country are monitored by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare which also surveys for sufferers of other chronic conditions such as heart or kidney disease.
Lastly, Australia’s Department of Health has also developed its National Diabetes Strategy which aims at how to improve the government’s response to this disease.
While diabetes is a very common problems among Australians, efforts are being made to control the disease. Programs are also being made to improve health care as well as to provide information on how to prevent the disease from occurring.
By controlling your weight, avoiding bad habits, and generally maintaining good health habits, Australians can greatly minimize the risk of them contracting the disease. Hopefully, this can help lower the incidences of diabetes around the country over the next few years.