Tuesday 11 July 2017

Bass Coast Health (BCH) is joining forces with Diabetes Victoria during this year’s National Diabetes Week (Sunday 9 – Saturday 15 July), calling on all Victorians to learn more about the invisible condition of diabetes, which is affecting more and more people every day.


“People with diabetes look like everybody else – they come in all shapes, sizes, ages, gender identities and ethnicities. You cannot see if somebody has diabetes, nor can you tell which type of diabetes they have,” BCH Diabetes Educator Helen Papadopoulos said.


Every day, more than 80 people in Victoria develop diabetes and, of those, the majority have type 2 diabetes – which is often linked to lifestyle issues such as a poor diet and a lack of regular exercise. Just as concerning – one in every four Victorians over the age of 25 is directly impacted in some way by this condition; however, they might not be aware of this.


The theme of Diabetes Victoria’s new digital awareness campaign is Invisible Condition and that it is too important to ignore.


BCH’s Community Nursing Manager Emma O’Neill says, “Living with diabetes is 24/7. We all need to know more about it so we can distinguish the facts from the myths. For instance, you don’t have to be old and you don’t have to be overweight to develop diabetes – diabetes doesn’t discriminate.”


“With almost 314,000 Victorians living with diabetes and an estimated 125,000 Victorians with undiagnosed diabetes, there is an increasing need to provide expert advice, resources and programs so people affected by diabetes can live well and ensure that the seriousness of diabetes is raised amongst various Members of Parliament at the Victorian Parliamentary Diabetes Support Group meeting later this year,” says Diabetes Victoria CEO Craig Bennett.


 “There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes,” says Mr Bennett. “Each type of diabetes has different underlying causes and may be best managed with different strategies. However, once you develop diabetes you will have to manage the condition every day for the rest of your life. There is a great need to raise awareness about this, in particular.”


These management strategies that Mr Bennet refers to can be gained locally from BCH’s Diabetes Educators and Dietitians, who also provide expert advice on how to better manage the condition day to day.


BCH’s own Diabetes Self-Management and Support Groups provides advice, information and support to Bass Coast residents, with the groups meeting regularly at various sites to discuss a diverse selection of issues related to the condition. The groups provide the space for participants to speak freely amongst themselves, to better understand how to live well with diabetes. With health professionals in attendance the groups enable people to share their experiences to discover new ways to better manage their condition. Expert presenters range from pharmacists to podiatrists.


Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia. Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes, as well as silent or undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. More than 108,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year alone.


To find out more, visit the website invisiblecondition.org.au

To find out more about BCH’s Diabetes Support Group, please call the Diabetes Educator on 5671 3290.