Diabetes expert won't rule out miracle plant theory
EDUCATORS for Diabetes Australia say there is still no proven cure for type two diabetes but rather management of the disease.
Credential Diabetes Educator for Diabetes NSW/ACT Angela Blair said people diagnosed with the disease can successfully manage it with a combination of a healthy diet, exercise and medication.
"You need to be more active over the day, so stand up between breaks, if someone is on the phone to you stand up and walk around, try and reduce that sitting time," she said.
The comments come after Ballina man Don Ellison said he believed he cured his type two diabetes after consuming Rhinacanthus, or as it is more commonly known, as snake jasmine.
"I've been an educator for nearly 40 years, I've heard lots of stories and I don't discredit anything," Mrs Blair said.
"Often when people make choices about what they eat and drink, as long their blood glucose levels come back to that target range and not causing any health risks, if that's what they believe I am not going to turn around and say, 'no that's wrong'.
"What is a cure? When the blood glucose levels are within the target range, can you call that a cure? We don't at this stage because often if the person changes what they are doing then their blood glucose levels start to go up again.
"Some people call it remission; some people call it a cure. I like to say things are where they should be and keep up the good work."
With half a million people in Australia living with undiagnosed type two diabetes, Diabetes Australia is calling on those at risk of contracting the disease to make a blood glucose test part of their annual medical check up.
"It makes up 85 per cent of people with diabetes in Australia," Mrs Blair said.
"We're trying to encourage people at risk of type two diabetes to actually not wait for those symptoms but to go have that annual check-up with their GP."
There are a number of reasons why people contract type two diabetes, which all start with "risk factors".
"Risks you can't (change) are things like your family history and your age," Mrs Blair said.
"The ones you can change, you can delay and even prevent the onset of type two diabetes are making lifestyle changes sooner rather than later.
"Some of the lifestyle factors are if you put on too many inches around your waist."
Some people go undiagnosed for up to seven years because they don't present with any of the symptoms until it is too late.
"If your blood glucose is higher than what it should be for long periods of time it makes the blood a lot thicker and stickier," Mrs Blair said.
"Then that thicker, stickier blood lays down waste on the walls of the blood vessels, so it can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, it can increase the risk of changes to the little blood vessels in the eyes and kidneys.
"If you're undiagnosed and don't know you've got diabetes you don't know that's happening, so some people are diagnosed when they have a heart attack."
As part of National Diabetes week, Diabetes Australia's "It's About Time" campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and early treatment for all types of diabetes.
If you are concerned you may have diabetes, please seek the advice of your general practitioner and get tested.
National Diabetes Week will run until the July 14, 2018.
Complete the Diabetes Risk Calculator now, https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/risk-calculator.
Symptoms for type two diabetes include:
- Being excessively thirsty
- Passing more urine
- Feeling tired and lethargic
- Always feeling hungry
- Having cuts that heal slowly
- Itching, skin infections
- Blurred vision
- Gradually putting on weight
- Mood swings
- Feeling dizzy
- Leg cramps