People with a family history of diabetes and those carrying extra weight should visit their GP to minimise the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, AMA Vice President Dr Gary Speck said today, as National Diabetes Week kicked off.
"You can't change your family history or genetic make-up, but with the help of your family doctor you can prevent or delay the development of diabetes through lifestyle changes," Dr Speck said.
"Having two parents with diabetes means you have a one in two chance of developing diabetes. Your doctor can organise the blood tests needed to make the diagnosis."
Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that can lead to many long-term secondary health complications.
"One-third of people with Type 2 diabetes experience complications such as eye problems including blindness, oral health problems, kidney damage, foot or leg ulcers which can lead to amputation, and heart attacks," Dr Speck said
"Your GP can help determine if you're at risk, and advise you on how to minimise your risk, as well as help you manage the disease if it develops."
Obesity and lack of exercise are major risk factors in the development of type two diabetes
"Overweight adults are three times more likely to develop type two diabetes than those who maintain a healthy weight, and obese adults are 10 times more likely to develop the disease," Dr Speck said.
However, Dr Speck said the onset of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
"Ask your doctor what you need to do to reduce your risk, and then map out the support you need," he said.
"It's always wise to check with your doctor before making significant changes to your lifestyle, particularly if you have other health problems."