National Diabetes Week 2021

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National Diabetes Week is an initiative of Diabetes Australia and runs from 11 – 17 July, 2021. In 2021, the focus of the week is on the mental and emotional health of people living with diabetes. The spotlight is on diabetes stigma and mental health.

For example, people experience diabetes stigma when they are blamed for having diabetes, while managing diabetes such as injecting insulin in public and when they experience the affects and complications of diabetes such as low blood sugar. The conversation this year is centred on the real impact diabetes stigma can have on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

Did you know:

  • More than 4 in 5 people with diabetes have experienced diabetes stigma.
  • Nearly 50 per cent of people with diabetes have experienced mental health challenges in the last 12 months.

This stigma affects all aspects of life for people with diabetes, including their mental health and wellbeing. The National Diabetes Services Scheme has a podcast called The Annual Cycle of Care and is a tool for diabetes care. This is an important listen for both those with diabetes and the broader community.

As well as reducing the stigma experienced by people with diabetes, it’s important we get better at recognising the signs of undiagnosed diabetes. Every year 640 children and adults are admitted to hospital because the early signs of type 1 diabetes are missed. If not diagnosed in time, type 1 diabetes can be fatal.

The 4 T’s can be the early warning signs of type 1 diabetes, and they are:

  • Tired – unexplained or excessive fatigue
  • Thirsty – a thirst that can’t be quenched
  • Thinner – sudden or unexplained weight loss
  • Toilet – going to the toilet a lot

As part of National Diabetes week Diabetes SA is promoting their risk calculator because diabetes is one of the most serious chronic conditions in Australia. One in 6 adults are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Over time high glucose levels can damage the body’s blood vessels and nerves, leading to long term health complications such as heart, kidney and eye disease, and nerve damage in the feet.

You can take the diabetes risk test here

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