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Could you be pre-diabetic? Or have Metabolic Syndrome?

Dr inspecting

Are you on your way to diabetes?

Pre-diabetes is where insulin is not working well enough and glucose levels are higher than
normal. It is not quite at the level for a diagnosis of diabetes but is a strong indicator that you may be at risk of developing diabetes within 5-10 years if lifestyle changes are not made.

Metabolic syndrome is the culmination of 3 or more risk factors that increase your
likelihood of having heart disease, diabetes or stroke. The risk factors for both of these conditions are very similar.

  • A large waistline; If you are over 80 cm for women or over 94 cm for men
  • High triglycerides
  • Low HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps remove cholesterol from arteries
  • High blood pressure, which can damage the heart and vessels
  • High blood glucose, which is an indication that your insulin is not working well

Your GP can perform all of these tests for you. It is important to treat these risk
factors early before complications arise. Check out Diabetes Australia for more

In Australia, nearly two thirds of men and half of all women are overweight. Obesity is a huge factor in the increase of type 2 diabetes. Up to 60 per cent of diabetes could be prevented, or delayed, by maintaining a healthy weight.

The Department of Health and Ageing have released an interactive tool to assess
your risk of diabetes: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/diabetesRiskAssessmentTool

Diabetes has a significant and detrimental effect on the body that is often not well
understood by the community.

  • Increases your risk of heart attack and stroke;-  Close to 80% of people
    with diabetes will die from a heart attack or stroke
  • Development of retinopathy in the eye which can seriously affect vision and may lead to blindness
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of end stage renal disease and the fastest growing cause of kidney failure.
  • Ulceration and amputation are a major concern in the lower limb where neuropathy reduces sensation, and damage to blood vessels delays healing –
    An amputation due to diabetes occurs every 23 seconds worldwide.

As you can see, the complications of diabetes affect the whole body. Good diabetes
management therefore involves many different health professionals working with
you. These should certainly include your GP, Diabetic Educator, Podiatrist,
Endocrinologist, Physiotherapist and Ophthalmologist/ Optometrist, Dietician
and Dentist to name a few!

The main keys to long-term weight loss are healthy eating and regular physical
activity. It is possible to delay or reverse a diagnosis of pre-diabetes or diabetes if caught early and lifestyle changes are made. It is important not to overlook how beneficial these changes can be.

If you don’t yet have diabetes but are concerned about the risk factors that may
be relevant to you there are a few good places to start:

  • Weight loss and/or making positive lifestyle changes – See your GP to assess your risk
  • Resume/ begin exercise in a healthy way. Consider seeing a Physiotherapist to develop an exercise program
  • See a dietician/nutritionist to talk to you about healthy (and yummy!) eating that
    will be best suited for you.
  • Addressing any limitations you may have. Don’t let these be an excuse.
  • Footwear, previous injury, or pain? Treat these early, see a Podiatrist or
  • Motivation – Consider group exercise or doing activities with a friend. Better yet, engage the whole family!
  • Financial – healthy living doesn’t have to be expensive. Have a good think about your options and talk to friends and family.

Concerns? Talk to someone. An appointment with your physio or podiatrist is a good place to start 07 35116352.