GET TESTED: Fraser Coast facing diabetes crisis

IF EVERY Queensland diabetes sufferer gathered in one place, the crowd would comprise more people than the combined populations of the Fraser Coast, Gympie and Bundaberg.

Dubbed "Diabetesville" by Diabetes Queensland CEO Michelle Trute, this virtual city would have close to 315,000 residents.

The Fraser Coast, Gympie and Bundaberg region has a combined population of 244,000 residents.

Ms Trute said Diabetesville would grow at an alarming rate as 60 new arrivals with diabetes joined the population daily.

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Speaking during Thursday's World Health Day activities, Ms Trute said the diabetes figures for Queensland were shocking - 222,000 of the state's residents have been diagnosed, and a further 93,000 have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Queensland's annual hospital bill for diabetes and related complications sits at $610 million, and the disease takes up 16% of the state's hospital beds.

Ms Trute said regional Queenslanders were at particular risk, thanks to the higher cost of fresh fruit and vegetables and fewer health care options than their capital city counterparts.

She urged local householders to choose pre-packed fruit and vegetables instead of cheaper takeaways or unhealthy snacks.

She also encouraged residents who felt they were at risk of type 2 diabetes to consult their doctors.

"Within our regional areas, we are seeing an increase in the rates of diagnosis of all types of diabetes," she said.

"Diabetes has no postcode, but is readily identified by the ever-present risk of medical complications and consequences, from kidney and heart disease to blindness and amputation.

"Preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes means healthy eating, adopting an active lifestyle and finding out if you've got the condition."

Ms Trute said 30 minutes of daily exercise could also decrease the risk of getting the disease.

The rarer type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable and can often be managed by healthy eating and exercise.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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