Diabetes testing at Kyabram library

Diabetes week: Kyabram District Health Service is providing the expertise at Kyabram library for free blood sugar and blood glucose testing, as part of Diabetes Week from July 10 to 16. Photo by Patrick Phillips

Free blood sugar and blood glucose testing will be offered at Kyabram library as part of Diabetes week from July 10 to 16.

Diabetes sufferers will also be able to have their blood glucose machine checked by simply bringing it along with them on Monday, July 11 from 10am to 1pm.

Testing will be conducted a CDE RN Division 1 nurse from Kyabram District Health Service

Diabetes is considered the “epidemic of the 21st century’’ and the biggest challenge facing Australia’s health system.

One person develops diabetes every five minutes in Australia (280 Australians a day) and about 1.8 million people live with diabetes in the nation.

The cost of diabetes to the Australian economy is estimated at $14.6 billion, hence the enthusiastic nature of the awareness program that is waged during National Diabetes Week.

Diabetes remains the leading cause of preventable blindness in Australia and there are 27,600 hospital admissions every year for diabetes-related foot ulcers, many of which result in amputations.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for people with Type 2 diabetes.

It contributes to almost two-thirds of all deaths in people with diabetes.

Adding to the concerns in relation to eye, heart and foot health is the fact that an estimated 360,000 people with diabetes are living with kidney disease.

For those uncertain about the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, here is a quick explanation.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the condition, accounting for 85-90 per cent of all diabetic sufferers.

It occurs when the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas.

The condition has strong genetic and family-related (non-modifiable) risk factors and is also often associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors.

There is no cure, but the condition can be managed through lifestyle modifications and there is even evidence of people entering remission from Type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin. It is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors and there is no cure and it cannot be prevented.

Without insulin, the body’s cells cannot turn glucose (sugar) into energy and sufferers must test their blood glucose levels several times a day.

It is managed with several daily insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump.