Granite Belt's rate of diabetes higher than state average
WHAT started as a check-up for an eye condition in 2016 ended up as a type 2 diabetes diagnosis for Martin Bonner.
He was not obese, had no family history, was not elderly but still ended up with the increasingly common disease.
Mr Bonner discovered eating a low-carb, high-fat diet was a way to manage his diabetes and continue living life normally, without medication.
Last week was National Diabetes Week and Diabetes Queensland and Darling Downs Health are reminding residents to look out for early warning signs, including inability to quench thirst, using the toilet a lot, being more tired than usual or weight loss.
As Mr Bonner was diagnosed early he was able to cut out carbohydrates and sugars to easily manage living with diabetes.
"Sometimes you crave ice creams and sweets but when you do have them they end up being way too sweet," he said.
In the Granite Belt there are 745 cases of diabetes, with 5.1 per cent of the population suffering from type 2, 1 per cent above the state average.
Diabetes Queensland chief executive Michelle Trute said as age was a leading risk factor for type 2 diabetes, the area's older population was a likely cause for the higher rate.
"When you break down the statistics into small regions, such as the postcodes of Stanthorpe and surrounds, one family with members who live with type 1 diabetes will make a big difference in the overall percentage of the population with diabetes," she said.
"We know about 40per cent of people with type 2 diabetes did not develop it because of lifestyle factors. Genetics and age can play a large part."
Mr Bonner said he was thankful no one had made him feel stigmatised by his condition.
"I just mention what we've been doing and how easy it is and people just say 'good on you for what you're doing'," he said.
"But until we get fast food places and restaurants to consider this we're still going to have an overweight society."