Thousands on Fraser Coast don't know they have diabetes
MORE than 3400 people on the Fraser Coast have type 2 diabetes - but they don't know it.
Diabetes Queensland CEO adjunct associate professor Michelle Trute said anyone could develop diabetes and you didn't have to be old or overweight.
"Your future depends on finding out if you're one of the 3436," she said.
Diabetes Queensland has been encouraging people to get tested for type 2 diabetes, which can remain undetected for years, particularly during National Diabetes Week last week.
On top of that estimate of 3436, there are 7582 people on the Fraser Coast with all types of diabetes, and 6872 people have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
That's about 6.8% of the population, which is the highest rate in Queensland.
Being informed of type 2 diabetes lets the person who has been diagnosed slow its advance, which can prevent the onset of serious complications that could lead to a heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney disease or limb amputations.
"It takes less than two minutes to check your risk of developing type 2 diabetes online," Ms Trute said.
"This National Diabetes Week, put yourself first and find out if you're one of the Queenslanders who needs to start treatment.
"We tend to look the other way when it comes to our health, but you are so much better off being in control of your diabetes rather than the other way around."
Maryborough doctor Paul Cotton said diabetes was on the rise across the region.
"It's almost epidemic proportions," he said.
"Places like the Fraser Coast probably have more diabetics per capita, largely because of economic disadvantage.
"Managing socio-economic disadvantage would go a long way towards decreasing type 2 diabetes.
"Type 2 diabetes can be a silent disease.
"It has a close association with obesity."
Dr Cotton said people who were concerned about their health should see their own GP.
"Primary care is about prevention. It's far more rewarding to prevent rather than treat. By that time the damage is often done."
An Australian-led study cited in the Courier-Mail had shown that sugary drinks, irrespective of obesity or weight gain, could cause type 2 diabetes.
An Australian National University-led study of 40,000 adults has shown the more sugary drinks consumed by an individual, the higher diabetes risk, meaning thin people are not immune.
The study of Thai adults from 2005 to 2013 has shown that sugar-sweetened beverages are driving the diabetes epidemic.