Prevention is key to good health

Barrie fights diabetes by embracing healthy living

A GOOD relationship with your general practitioner can help reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, says Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local Primary's Fiona McEniry.

"This week is National Diabetes Week and this year's theme is prevention," Ms McEniry said.

"A good, preventative, self-management thing you can do by yourself is to have a regular GP and see them once a year.

"Get your sun spots checked, have your blood done, find out your weight and to talk about things.

"People think you only go to the doctor when you're sick but it's about taking a proactive approach."

Ms McEniry is encouraging people to use the Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool at www.diabetesaustralia.com.au

"This is a really good self-assessment tool," she said.

"People could fill it and, if they get a score outside of the normal range, they could go and talk to their doctor."

Ms McEniry is also promoting the Life! program - a lifestyle modification program designed by Diabetes Australia - Victoria to educate people on how to prevent diabetes, heart disease and stroke. 

"By completion of the program most people will have made adjustments to their lifestyle and achieved improved health outcomes," she said.

“Staying physically active is most important to remain fit and independent.

"Joining strength and balance classes run throughout the region for older adults is another option on offer." 

Meanwhile, Bendigo Health has announced it will host a Diabetes Seminar for school and preschool staff in October.

The initiative was announced to coincide with Diabetes Week which is marked from July 13 to 19.

The seminar will provide teachers and other school staff with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and confidence in supporting children with Type 1 diabetes. 

The program covers information regarding blood glucose levels, diet and exercise and implementation of a school management plan. It also provides strategies to assist with school camps, excursions and exams. 

Birchip P-12 School principal John Richmond said many school staff were not aware of the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, how to manage the condition or what to do if a child presents with low blood glucose levels. 

For more information call 5454 6971.

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