One in two Australians now living with a chronic health condition1. This month, we’re taking an in depth look at the prevalence of chronic conditions in Australia and how Aussies are affected. See more here.
While still quite young, Victorian resident Mignonne’s diagnosis of type 2 diabetes turned her life upside down. At the time, Mignonne was considered overweight, and this, coupled with a history of the disease on both sides of her family, placed Mignonne well into the high risk category.
Commenting on the diagnosis, Mignonne says:
“It was quite a shock when I was diagnosed…living with diabetes is very hard — every time you eat food, you need to be constantly aware of it, so it does impinge on your day-to-day life. It was a shock to the system, and I started going to the gym and have since lost incredible amounts of weight. It changed my life.”
To find out more about what it’s like to live with type 2 diabetes, we chatted with Mignonne, who describes her life since being diagnosed with the condition 22 years ago.
About type 2 diabetes
According to Diabetes Australia, type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 85% to 90% of all diabetes cases in Australia.
The condition occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function effectively, or when it becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. This means that glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used for energy. It’s most commonly seen in adults over the age of 45, but these days, there are more and more children and young adults being diagnosed. This is likely due in part to rising obesity levels.
There are some lifestyle factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, such as obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and poor diet. But perhaps surprisingly, one of the biggest risk factors is genetics, so if there’s a family history of diabetes, it’s still possible for fit and healthy individuals to develop it.
To find out more about the prevalence of diabetes internationally, and how Medibank is providing support for Aussies affected by chronic conditions, see here.
1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. www.aihw.gov.au/chronic-diseases/