Cairns Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


‘Don’t sugar coat it’ this national diabetes week

Jul 13, 2020

A leading Cairns endocrinologist is urging North Queenslanders not to sugar coat diabetes, and get tested for the disease this National Diabetes Week.

Dr Luke Conway, a Specialist Endocrinologist at Cairns Private Hospital said 500,000 Australians are currently living with undiagnosed diabetes, yet delays in diagnosis and treatment can cause irreversible complications.

“My message is simple, when it comes to diabetes don’t sugar coat it, see your GP and get tested because a little prick could save your life,” Dr Conway said.

“I know some people take better care of their car than their own health and we need to change that. Diabetes is an insidious, silent killer and many people may initially have no symptoms or signs for months or years, so it’s important to get checked out.”

According to Diabetes Australia, every year 640 children and adults are admitted to hospital because the early warning signs of type 1 diabetes are missed. If not diagnosed in time, type 1 diabetes can be fatal.

This year National Diabetes Week is being held from 12th - 18th July with a focus on supporting the emotional and mental health wellbeing of people living with diabetes.

“Living with diabetes can sometimes feel like a full time job and we know people living with the condition are at an increased risk of depression and anxiety,” Dr Conway said.

“It’s important that patients don’t neglect their mental health and it’s also important to have a superstar team cheering you on.”

For those already living with diabetes, Dr Conway said they should stay in regular contact with their GP or endocrinologist to take advantage of advancements in technology that can help manage their condition.

“There are now fantastic diabetes treatment options including subsidised medications that only need to be given once per week that will help with not only getting your blood glucose on target but also weight loss,” Dr Conway said.

“Patients under the age of 21 or have a health care card can also access continuous glucose monitoring devices for free. They’re small sensors, about the size of a 20 cent piece, that can make life much easier for patients to keep their glucose on target.”

Doctor Conway said it’s important people maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

“Be physically active. The best activity is the one that you enjoy and gets you moving.”