young man wearing an adhesive continuous glucose monitor (CGM) sensor to manage his insulin needs

The Diabetes Dilemma

Did you know the fastest growing chronic health condition in Australia, can be prevented?

November 14 is World Diabetes Day and we believe that everyone needs to better understand this growing health condition.

Read in this article

world diabetes day logo sapience financialIn our rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, being well-informed about the most prevalent chronic conditions is crucial, and it's a fact that diabetes currently tops the list as the fastest-growing chronic ailment in our country.

With nearly two million Australians grappling with this condition, it's startling to note that approximately every five minutes, another Australian joins the ranks of those affected.

To commemorate World Diabetes Day this November 14, it pays to remind ourselves of the profound implications of diabetes for your long-term health, the different types of diabetes, and most importantly, how you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that even modest lifestyle changes can be instrumental in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes, characterized by elevated glucose levels in the bloodstream, is not to be underestimated. Over time, persistently high blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on blood vessels and nerves, leading to a slew of health complications such as heart disease, kidney problems, vision impairment, and foot issues.

Three types of the same condition

Diabetes Unveiled

The numbers are startling—diabetes affects nearly two million Australians, with a new case cropping up every five minutes. But what exactly is diabetes? At its core, diabetes is the embodiment of an intricate dance between blood glucose levels and the body's ability to manage them effectively. As these levels veer into uncharted territory, the repercussions are profound, leading to compromised blood vessels and nerves, and an array of health complications, including heart disease, kidney issues, impaired vision, and foot problems.

Diabetes is not a one-size-fits-all condition. It comes in three main flavors: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, each with its unique characteristics and challenges. While all forms of diabetes are on the rise in Australia, type 2 diabetes takes the lead in terms of prevalence. The silver lining here is that even if you have a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes you possess the power to tilt the scales in your favor.

Energy In and Energy Out - The 'Move More' Manifesto

Physical activity emerges as the cornerstone of diabetes prevention. The recipe is simple—keep moving! Ensuring you maintain a healthy weight is paramount, and one of the most effective ways to achieve this is by staying physically active.

Preventing type 2 diabetes does not necessitate rigorous exercise routines. Rather, it entails incorporating more movement into your daily life. This can be as simple as opting to walk or bike instead of driving, taking the stairs rather than an escalator where possible, engaging in sports, or merely making a conscious effort to get up and move around your home more frequently. Remember, every move counts! Furthermore, staying active not only aids in weight management but also helps elevate your mental well-being and energy levels.

Mindful Eating: Choose Wisely

Your food choices play a significant role in reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Opting for healthier foods not only helps in maintaining a healthy weight but also plays a crucial role in managing blood glucose levels. A well-balanced diet comprises a variety of food groups in appropriate portion sizes while avoiding processed or packaged foods, excessive salt, and added sugars. The Australian Dietary Guidelines can provide you with a clear roadmap for the right types and quantities of foods to include in your diet.

The Alcohol Equation

Monitoring your alcohol intake goes hand in hand with sustaining a healthy diet.

Excessive alcohol consumption is a recognized risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, primarily due to its high-calorie content, which hinders weight management. If you're uncertain about the impact of alcohol on your diabetes risk, it's always a good idea to chat with your local. GP for some personalized guidance.

Stay Hydrated

In the realm of hydration, we've uncovered a hidden gem—the power of water. Beverages laden with carbohydrates can trigger unwarranted fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Steer clear of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, sports beverages, and cordials, and prioritize plain water as your constant companion. 

Drinks containing carbohydrates can lead to increased blood glucose levels, making it wise to steer clear of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, sports beverages, and cordials. Although drinks with artificial sweeteners do not directly affect your blood glucose, they can cultivate a preference for sweet drinks.

Energy Drinks

It seems that the new range of energy drinks has now replaced the profit center for the majority of petrol stations that also sell cigarettes. Early morning it's not unusual to see many tradies starting their day with an ED, but what it does to their metabolism is not always apparent to the younger consumer of ED’s.

The world is now struggling with epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes. One of the reasons for this is the substantial increase in the consumption of beverages that contain sucrose and caffeine. Fructose, which—together with glucose—is a product of sucrose breakdown, has been associated with such health problems as body weight gain and insulin resistance

Consumption of EDs can raise the risk of developing arterial hypertension and type 2 diabetes, while a high intake of caffeine lowers the sensitivity to insulin.

Perhaps it's time to reconsider your ED consumption and find a less aggressive beverage of choice, whenever possible.

While diabetes affects millions of Australians on a daily basis, it's important to recognize that we all have the power to take simple, proactive steps to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and enjoy a life of good health.

Getting help

This is not health advice for people with diabetes. For support and information on managing diabetes, speak with your GP or visit Diabetes Australia.

Is Insurance available for people living with diabetes?

If you or someone you know is living with Diabetes and wants to know what their Life Insurance options are, get in contact with us for a confident chat.  We will need to know their HbA1c reading and any medications they may be using to better manage their health.

author pic drew browneDrew Browne is a specialty Financial Risk Advisor working with Small Business Owners & their Families, Dual Income Professional Couples, and diverse families. He's an award-winning writer, speaker, financial adviser and business strategy mentor. His business Sapience Financial Group is committed to using business solutions for good in the community. In 2015 he was certified as a B Corp., and in 2017 was recognised in the inaugural Australian National Businesses of Tomorrow Awards. Today he advises Small Business Owners and their families, on how to protect themselves, from their businesses.  He writes for successful Small Business Owners and Industry publications. You can read his Modern Small Business Leadership Blog here. You can connect with him on LinkedIn Any information provided is general advice only and we have not considered your personal circumstances. Before making any decision on the basis of this advice you should consider if the advice is appropriate for you based on your particular circumstance.

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