This Diabetes Awareness Week, educate yourself about the risks of type 2 diabetes and the steps you can take to help prevent it. TAL outlines what Type 2 Diabetes is, and how you can reduce your risk.
Life can be hectic but it’s important to take a moment from time-to-time to make sure you’re putting yourself, and your health, first.
This week in Australia it’s Diabetes Awareness Week, and while the idea of type 2 diabetes might be a scary one, knowing a little more about the condition is the first step in helping to prevent it. In this article, we run through a few of the easy lifestyle changes you can make to ensure you’re set up to protect your health in the best way possible.
What is type 2 diabetes?
According to Diabetes Australia, Type 2 diabetes is a condition that the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin. This effect the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose (sugar) levels, and over time this can cause health complications.
Who is at risk?
There are things we can all do to help prevent type 2 diabetes, but certain groups are a little more at risk, including:
People with a family history of diabetes
People over 45 with high blood pressure or who are overweight
People over 35 from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
How can I help to prevent type 2 diabetes?
While the risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes may be a scary thought, there are a few simple lifestyle changes you can make today which will help to keep it at bay.
Staying at a healthy weight. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.
Managing blood pressure. Regular exercise, reducing the amount of salt and alcohol in your diet, and trying to de-stress are all ways to reduce blood pressure. For some inspiration, the Heart Foundation has suggested five foods to help reduce blood pressure.
Reducing cholesterol by cutting down on saturated fats, which are found in fatty meats, full cream dairy products, palm and coconut oils and highly processed foods such as cakes, chips, chocolates and fried foods.
Quit smoking. The Australian government offers a service to help.
The good news is that Diabetes Australia suggests that taking these simple lifestyle measures can help to prevent type 2 diabetes in 58% of cases.
What other steps can I take?
As well as making sure you keep up a healthy lifestyle, you might also wish to review your current insurance protection. For example, should you suffer from an unexpected illness, Income Protection Insurance and Total Permanent Disability insurance will keep you and your family financially secure if you need time off work to recover.
If you already have type 2 diabetes, insurance options are still available to you, but cover will depend on factors such as your age at diagnosis, level of control, complications, treatment and any other risk factors.
To find out more information about cover that can be tailored to your unique needs please visit our website.
For further information on diabetes in Australia, available treatments and tips, see the Diabetes Australia website.
^Type 2 diabetes accounts for 85% of all cases of diabetes in Australia
*Up to 500,000 people in Australia have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
^^280 Australians develop diabetes every day – that’s one person every five minutes.
**The total annual estimated cost of diabetes to Australia is $14.6 billion
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