AUSTRALIANS are being urged to get back to basics when it comes to thinking about diabetes, in a bid to debunk common myths about the prevalent health condition.
From the misconception that people with diabetes can't eat sugar to the belief that only overweight people can get the diseases, Aussies are still in the dark about the facts around diabetes.
That's according to Diabetes Victoria which has launched a new campaign to educate the general public about diabetes in a series of short videos deadling with one issue at a time.
The new Back to Basics campaign was launched this week to mark National Diabetes Week and aims to raise awareness about all types of diabetes in easy-to-understand language.
Diabetes Victoria chief executive Craig Bennett said it was vital to highlight the seriousness of diabetes and help people become more knowledgeable about the condition.
"Diabetes is one of the fastest growing health conditions issues in Australia and is a complex condition that requires constant management," he said
The campaign's first video explains the prevalence of diabetes in Victoria and looks at the different types of diabetes; type 1, type 2 and gestational.
"People from all walks of life can develop diabetes. We need to ensure these people are supported instead of being stigmatised, because we too often hear things about diabetes that are simply not true.
"Each type of diabetes has different underlying causes and may be best managed with different strategies," said Mr Bennett.
"However, once you develop diabetes, you will have to manage the condition every day for the rest of your life. There is a great need to raise awareness about this, in particular."
Last year Diabetes Victoria ran a Bust a Myth campaign last year, debunking the top five myths around living with diabetes.
Five diabetes myths
Myth 1: People with diabetes can't eat sugar.
Fact 1: People with diabetes can eat what everyone else can eat. People with diabetes do not need 'special foods' and there is no need for a zero-sugar diet.
Myth 2: People with diabetes can't play sport.
Fact 2: As well as keeping fit and having fun, exercise is good for people living with diabetes, as it can help reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications.
Myth 3: People with diabetes don't live long lives.
Fact 3: Once diabetes has been diagnosed, you will have to manage the condition for the rest of your life. But this doesn't mean that it will be a short life.
Myth 4: People only get diabetes if they are overweight.
Fact 4: Being overweight can be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, but people with diabetes look like everybody else - they come in all shapes, sizes, ages, gender identities and ethnicities.
Myth 5: People with diabetes can't do certain jobs.
Fact 5: Some decades ago, there were many restrictions on the careers that people with diabetes could have. But times have changed, and so has diabetes management.
Diabetes in Australia
- 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. That's one person every five minutes
- Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million known and registered) as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (up to 500,000).
- More than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year
- For every person diagnosed with diabetes there is usually a family member or carer who also 'lives with diabetes' every day in a support role. This means that an estimated 2.4 million Australians are affected by diabetes every day
- Total annual cost impact of diabetes in Australia estimated at $14.6 billion
For more details on the Diabetes Victoria Back to Basics campaign and videos click HERE