Chayse Marxsen and his mum Karyn Marxsen are determined to raise money to help find a cure for diabetes.
Chayse Marxsen and his mum Karyn Marxsen are determined to raise money to help find a cure for diabetes. Jessica Perkins

4 signs you are one of 3000 Gympie people with this disease

ABOUT 3000 Gympie residents live with type 2 diabetes and many more live with silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

National Diabetes Week next week is the perfect time to check your risk and understand the signs and symptoms of diabetes.

Australia has one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the world and type 2 diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition.

Diabetes is considered the biggest challenge confronting Australia's health system in the 21st century Dr Brett Sillars, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) Clinical Director of Endocrinology and Diabetes, said both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are lifelong conditions that can affect every part of an individual's life.

"There is no cure of diabetes, but it can be managed. Balancing the food you eat with exercise and medicine, if prescribed, will help you keep your blood glucose in a healthy range.

"Living well with these conditions can reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications and allow sufferers to live a long and healthful life,” Dr Sillars said.

The most prevalent, although not the only, types of diabetes are type 1 (118,142 sufferers, March 2017) and type 2 (1.077 million sufferers, March 2017).

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. There is no way of predicting your chances of getting it, but it is important to familiarise yourself with the early signs.

The four Ts are the early signs of type 1 diabetes, if not diagnosed it can be fatal.

Toilet

Tiredness

Thinner

Thirsty

Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable and can often be managed by healthy eating and exercise alone. If not managed it can increase a person's risk to blindness, heart disease, limb amputation and kidney disease.

"Many people believe type 2 diabetes only affects people who are overweight or old, but the reality is that it can affect people of all ages and size,” said Dr Sillars.

"So, if you are aged over 40 now is a good time to check your risk, it takes less than two minutes. Go to: www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/risk-calculator”

SCHHS has specialised services for all types of diabetes, while GP's also play a key role in managing a person's diabetes.

Regular, free educational workshops are also available for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes to assist with self-management of the condition and provide support towards healthy lifestyle behaviours.

The next session is scheduled for Thursday 29 August 9.00am-1.00pm at Gympie Community Health Centre.

Whether you are newly diagnosed or have been living with type 2 diabetes for some time it's an opportunity to learn some more.

Bookings are essential. To register phone 5479 9670.