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Active Retirees : Active Retirees June-July 2012
36 | www.probussouthpacific.org HEALTH 1 “Regularly assess your risk.” At an annual check-up with your GP, have a blood test to check your blood glucose levels. Professor Johnson also recommends completing the AUSDRISK questionnaire on the Diabetes Australia website. If you score a 12 or above, your have a high risk of developing type two diabetes. Professor Johnson 2 “Be aware of the risk factors and symptoms.” While many of the symptoms might just feel like you’re ageing, she says that it pays to be careful and get to know yourself and your feelings better. Maria Packard 3 “Maintain a healthy weight by eating well and staying active.” Professor Johnson 4 “Eat a low-GI diet, watch your serving sizes and never skip breakfast.” Maria Packard 5 “Include at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or exercise in your day.” Try walking, swimming or aqua aerobics. Maria Packard 6 Resistance exercise such as a light weights program can help maintain muscle tone and strength. Professor Johnson 7 “Know your family’s health history.” While there is an increased risk of developing diabetes if someone else in your family has it, it doesn’t mean you will get it. Maria Packard 8 Don’t smoke. diabetes australia 9 Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels healthy. diabetes australia 10 Maintain healthy blood glucose levels, between 3.5 and 8 mmol/L. the dietitians association of australia what is tyPe two? Type two is the most common type of diabetes in Australia. Diabetes Australia’s research shows that 85 per cent of diabetes patients have type two and that, in 60 per cent of cases, it can be prevented. “Type two diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century,” explains Professor Johnson, with over 900,000 Australian adults currently being treated for the chronic condition. The disease begins when there is insulin resistance in the body. “The pancreas creates insulin, but the insulin doesn’t work properly,” explains Professor Johnson. “Then, over time, the pancreas fails and stops producing enough insulin.” While there is no cure for type two, there is plenty that can be done to help prevent it. “A combination of genetic factors and lifestyle has resulted in the explosion of type two diabetes,” says Professor Johnson. The main lifestyle risk factors for the disease are obesity, inactivity and a poor diet. “Approximately 90 per cent of diabetes cases worldwide are attributed to weight gain,” says Professor Johnson. Generally, type two diabetes can be managed with healthy eating and exercise, however some patients will need medication including insulin. reduce your risk “There are some things you can’t change,” says Packard, “but you can change your lifestyle – your diet, your activity levels, your habits – and these things can help you reduce your risk of developing type two diabetes.” Here are eight simple ways to help your health: Thinkstock
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