This year in National Diabetes Week (10-16 July), Diabetes Australia aims to raise awareness about diabetes-related amputations, so that more can be done to reduce the impact of diabetes.

Diabetes Australia’s headline brings to our attention the fact that 280 Australians develop diabetes every day, which is one person every five minutes. The statistics should be a wake-up call to all Australians, especially on the Sunshine Coast, where more than 11,900 people have the disease. Diabetes has been identified as an ‘emerging epidemic’ in spite of the Sunshine Coast’s enviable climate, access to beaches year round, emphasis on a healthy outdoor lifestyle incorporating plenty of exercise, and focus on healthy eating at any of the scores of cafes adorning the waterfront from Caloundra to Noosa.

Awareness and education are the keys in combating the rise in diabetes-related health conditions, such as amputations and kidney failure. The Sunshine Coast Diabetes Centre (Queensland Health Service) is dedicated to educating diabetes sufferers for better self-management and to providing specialised education to the health professionals who care for them. Diabetes Queensland is another excellent resource for learning about diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease linked to heredity, and it generally occurs in people under 30, although it can occur at any age. It cannot be prevented or cured; however, it can be managed successfully with insulin injections. Onset is usually rapid, with readily identifiable symptoms. About 10-15 per cent of diabetes cases are Type 1.

On the other hand, Type 2 Diabetes develops more slowly (it may be years), and is related more to modifiable lifestyle factors, although it too has family and genetic history as a risk factor. Typically, it develops in adults aged over 45; however, an increasing number of younger people are being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. In its early stages, the disease can be managed with diet and exercise; however, as the disease progresses, treatment with insulin injections may become necessary. About 85-90 per cent of diabetes cases are Type 2.

Some first aid trainers that have had firsthand experience in dealing with diabetes emergencies, and use that experience to illustrate and enhance the Provide First Aid courses they conduct for Allens Training Sunshine Coast.

Provide First Aid courses are run at our Birtinya training centre and at premises in Noosa.

To book into your next first aid course please book online via our secure website or phone 07 5438 8888.

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ACN 114 756 857