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How families can support those living with diabetes

World Diabetes Day (November 14) gives voice to people living with diabetes. The day is not only an important reminder for those living with diabetes that they are not alone, but also reinforces how families can support those living with diabetes.

The role of families in discovering diabetes

According to statistics from Diabetes Queensland, one in every two people with diabetes is undiagnosed. Early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes is important in helping prevent or delay life-threatening complications.

Approximately 50 percent of all Australians with diabetes are aged 65 years or older. It is especially important for families of older people to get informed about what to look for in their loved ones when it comes to diabetes.

The common symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Tummy pain
  • Feeling unwell in general

The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to those of type 1. There are, however, some people with the condition who do not have any symptoms at all.

 Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Increased urination
  • Constant hunger
  • Slow healing skin sores
  • Itching skin and skin infections
  • Blurred vision.

The role of families in preventing diabetes

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a varied diet consisting of plenty of fruit and vegetables, lean protein and wholegrain cereals, and getting plenty of exercise.

By eating healthy meals and exercising together, you can reduce your family’s risk by setting healthy habits that could prevent type 2 diabetes in the family now and into the future.

The role of families in managing diabetes

Managing diabetes requires a healthy lifestyle, regular monitoring, daily treatment and ongoing education. Family support can make all the difference.

If you have diabetes in your family, learn about the risks and what to look out for to prevent complications. The right support can help your family member sustain good diabetes management habits and can encourage them to seek further medical help when they may need it.

For more information on diabetes, visit Diabetes Queensland.

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