High diabetes in region due to lifestyle choices

An expert is urging the community to start to ‘take their health more seriously’ after Collie has been recorded to have a higher rate of diabetes than the state average.

National Diabetes Week, which runs from July 8-14, highlights awareness about the importance of early detection and early treatment for all types of diabetes

Data shows that  5.1 per cent of Collie residents have either type 1 or 2 diabetes, which is higher than the state average of 4.4 per cent and is in line with the national average of 5.1 per cent. 

Diabetes WA clinical services manager Rebecca Flavel said lifestyle choices were a key reason for people being diagnosed with the disease.

“Where the rates are higher, we find there are more takeaway outlets and sometimes less infrastructure to encourage people to exercise, which makes it hard for those residents to make healthy choices,” she said.

“Ultimately people have to take their own health more seriously and take diabetes seriously. It is something that is preventable. A weight loss of five to ten per cent for most people can stop or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.”

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include being thirsty, going to the toilet more regularly, being tired and losing weight. While type 2 diabetes is more difficult to identify, early detection can make a tangible difference in the person’s life.

A WA Country Health Service spokesperson said the prevelance of diabetes has been escalating over the last three decades, with rates tripling over this period. 

"Rates of diabetes are generally higher among males, the elderly, Indigenous Australians and people living in remote and socioeconomically disadvantaged areas," they said.

To get a diabetes check up or for more information you can head to the TerryWhite Amcal Pharmacy in Collie.