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Managing type 2 diabetes

This month we share an article published in WA's Diabetes Matters magazine.

Zara says that being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago was a huge wake-up call that made her realise how quickly life can change.

I had been suffering from thrush that wouldn't go away. It became so painful that I decided to see a doctor. I found that when I ate anything high in sugar the thrush would flare up, and when I told my doctor this, he asked if anyone in my family had diabetes. I confirmed they did.

I was overdue for my regular diabetes check, which is usually clear, so I didn't think anything of it when she ran the blood tests. I was certain I wasn't going to develope diabetes, but this time my results came back positive for type 2. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and winded me. It was a huge wake up call.

My diagnosis has made me more aware of the importance of looking after myself - eating healthily, exercising and having regular medical checks. I've lost a lot of weight which has helped to bring my glucose levels down to a healthy range and my eating habits have improved. I also feel like my moods are much more level and I'm happier than I was before my diagnosis.

My advice to people is that if you have a loved one, or know someone, who has diabetes, read up n what it is and speak with that person about how you can best support them. Knowing that they have the support of family and friends is absolutely critical to them managing the condition effectively.

Diabetes Matters is a quarterly magazine costing $6.95 and is packed with personal stories and information. You can find out more here.

Fake news and Type 2 diabetes: it’s time to tackle misinformation on lifestyle

Today we share this article from John Grumitt, Chief Executive, Changing Health. He is based in London but the information is worth sharing.

People with diabetes can’t always tell fact from fiction. And with the internet awash with conflicting sources of information on diet, exercise and glycaemic control, it’s easy to see why. In the space of just two weeks, the Daily Express alone published or republished 17 clickbait headlines on diabetes, often misleading, and designed to appeal to readers’ fears about their health.

Here are a couple of them:

Of course, that’s not to understate the public health crisis currently facing the nation - a recent estimate by Diabetes UK suggested a record 12.3 million people are now at elevated risk of developing Type 2. But we urgently need to stem this flow of misinformation.

Even the broadsheets can be prone to misrepresenting scientific evidence. The Guardian, for example, ran in August with the headline “No healthy level of alcohol consumption, says major study”. That referred to a major mata-analysis of 694 studies to work out how common drinking was, and a further 592 that assessed the health risks, accounting for a total 28 million people and published in The Lancet.

The researchers found that for each extra drink consumed in a day, the harm increased and that the lowest level of harm was zero drinks - the basis of the Guardian’s headline. It isn’t, however, that simple.

The study showed that 918 in 100,000 people who consume one drink a day can expect to experience an alcohol-related health issue. Yet 914 of those people will experience such a health issue no matter what, meaning only four in 100,000 do so as a direct result of consuming one drink a day(1). The study also did not account for other factors that may have been the actual cause of harm - drinkers are more likely be poorer and to smoke, for example.

Again, this is not to understate the risks; it’s beyond doubt that drinking is detrimental to health. The point, however, is that misleading headlines create a widespread lack of understanding what constitutes an achievable, healthy lifestyle - with significant implications for public health.

Many people are unaware, for example, that consuming carbs, not fats, is what typically leads to weight gain. Another common misconception is that Type 2 diabetes is a sign of having eaten too many sweets, rather than too much bread and pasta.

Read the rest of this article here.

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