CLOSE WATCH: Brendon Reck has been managing his diabetes for 33 years and says if it is controlled you can lead a normal life.
CLOSE WATCH: Brendon Reck has been managing his diabetes for 33 years and says if it is controlled you can lead a normal life. Allan Reinikka Rokadiabetes

Education’s vital for diabetes

AT AGE 11, Brendon Reck was a fit and active boy before his health declined dramatically.

Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes was scary for Brendon, who didn't understand at the time what it all meant.

But 33 years later the owner of Terry White Chemist Rockhampton said he couldn't imagine daily life without the condition.

The pharmacy last week launched in-store diabetes risk assessments to coincide with an Australia-wide awareness campaign.

National Diabetes Week, July 12-18, highlighted the prevalence of the disease and its side effects, which include heart attacks, stroke, anxiety and depression.

Every day, about 280 people develop diabetes nation-wide and Brendon said Capricornia was a hotspot, with a higher than average rate of obesity.

Figures released by Diabetes Queensland last year showed more than 7000 people were living with type 2 diabetes in the region, but up to 20,000 may be at risk or showing early symptoms.

Since his diagnosis, Brendon said he had to inject insulin four times a day until three years ago, when he got an insulin pump.

The pump helps maintain Brendon's insulin levels 24 hours a day, and recalculates his dosage based on food intake.

But dealing with type 1 diabetes has helped Brendon give advice and support to customers also managing the condition.

"If it's controlled, you can live a normal life," he said.

"Measuring and monitoring are key."

Brendon said one of the most important elements of a healthy life was education and understanding.

Until the end of the month, Terry White Chemist will be offering diabetes risk assessments for customers.

Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition resulting in the destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Those with type 1 diabetes must inject synthetic insulin throughout the day

Type 2 diabetes is progressive condition where the body cannot process glucose for energy. The onset of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in up to 60% of cases with weight management, a healthy diet and activity



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