Diabetes

Diabetes

 

A dose of daylight to help diabetes
Jet lag is widely accepted as a cause of sleep disturbance; or perhaps it’s more likely to be the disruption to normal sleep patterns that causes some of the other adverse health effects we associate with travel through various time zones – effects such as lack of concentration, generalised fatigue and stomach upsets.

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Falling body, failing brain
It’s commonly known that falls are a leading cause of injury resulting in hospitalisation, but as Nick Rushworth points out, it’s less well known that falls are also a major cause of what is called “traumatic brain injury” or TBI. The impact on both the individual with a brain injury and their family is enormous, and according to Brain Injury Australia, it’s an impact that is little understood by the community.

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What does a stroke look like?
Heart and blood vessel disease, known medically as cardiovascular disease, remains Australia’s number one killer. It affects nearly 2.5 million Australians. Together, heart attack and stroke (maybe we should call it “brain attack”) account for around a third of all deaths in Australia. This year Australians will suffer more than 60,000 new and recurrent strokes – that’s one stroke every 10 minutes. Statistics indicate that one in five people having a first ever stroke will die within a month and one in three die within a year.

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Are all our health dollars going to waist?
The consequences of carrying excess weight cost us dearly – both individually and as a community. Cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are probably the most significant conditions resulting from obesity; but there are many other conditions as well that are associated with carrying around too much weight. Weight related health problems include back pain, muscle and joint problems, osteoarthritis, stress incontinence, sleep apnoea and general fatigue. There are also psychological problems: low self esteem, low self confidence and depression.

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Diabetes – a monumental challenge
Worldwide diabetes is fast reaching epidemic proportions. In fact, diabetes is the fourth main cause of death in most developed countries. Recent figures from the World Health Organization indicate that more than 3 million deaths throughout the world are attributable to diabetes each year; numbers comparable to the most deadly of infectious diseases – AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Studies show that nearly one in four Australian adults either has diabetes or so-called impaired glucose metabolism which is associated with a substantial risk of diabetes and heart disease.

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Fabulous fibre
The benefits of fibre in the diet have been known for many years. In fact, one of the earliest proprietary fibre supplements, containing parts of the seed of the Plantago ovata (psyllium) plant, was marketed more than 75 years ago as the non-irritant laxative Metamucil. But, we now know that fibre offers more benefits than just a better functioning bowel. Each of the four main types of fibre – soluble fibre, insoluble fibre, resistant starches and so-called oligosaccharides – works in a different but complementary way. So, it’s important to get dietary fibre from a variety of sources: fruit, vegetables, legumes, pulses, nuts and the bran or husk of cereal grains.

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Dealing with dementia
Dementia is a condition that directly affects more than 250,000 Australians – a number which is expected to climb to nearly a million within 40 years. As yet there is no cure for dementia; and indeed the way our brain and nervous system works is not yet fully understood. All the more remarkable then, that it was the German neurologist, Alois Alzheimer, born nearly 150 years ago who first identified and gave his name to a condition that has now become so common in the developed world.

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Good health gift ideas
For many people, Christmas has deep religious significance; for others, it’s simply a time to relax and enjoy a few days off work. But for almost everyone, this time of year has traditionally become one of celebration. Throughout many societies it is commonplace to exchange gifts or simply ‘season’s greetings’, and to express sentiments of peace and goodwill. Wishes of good health usually accompany greetings at this time of year; so, perhaps some healthy gift ideas could be worth a thought as well.

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Celebration of ageing
Living longer is a great thing, but we also need to remain healthy to enjoy our longer lives to their fullest. Unfortunately, debilitating conditions such as heart and kidney disease, diabetes, and some types of arthritis are more common in older people.

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Dealing with D words
For people with diabetes, having one chronic medical condition is usually quite enough of a challenge. When they’re told they are also more likely to develop another potentially serious disease, maintaining a reasonably bright outlook on life could become even more of a struggle.

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The ages and stages of diabetes
Diabetes Awareness Week is a time when we’re encouraged to become more aware of,not only the extent of the disease and its complications, but also the now very effective management and prevention strategies.

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The silent pandemic
Diabetes has been described as the silent pandemic. There are approximately 1.1 million Australians living with diabetes, and around 100,000 new diagnoses each year. An estimated 280 Australians develop diabetes each day. Indigenous Australians are three times more likely to have type 2 diabetes compared with non-Indigenous Australians.

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