Diabetes is the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system today and includes type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes in Australia.  Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and is related to lifestyle factors and a genetic tendency (family history). There may be no symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes in the early stages.

Diabetes is a complex condition that affects the entire body, and a person’s ability to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood.

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes may include:

  • excessive thirst
  • frequent urination including bedwetting
  • excessive hunger
  • unexplained weakness and fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss
  • blurred vision
  • itching and skin infections
  • mood swings
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • vaginal discharge or itch in young girls
  • nausea and vomiting
  • leg cramps.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may also include: (There may be no symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes in the early stages.

  • numbness and tingling in the feet or legs
  • blurred vision
  • tiredness
  • urinating more frequently
  • itching, skin infections
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • feeling dizzy
  • leg cramps
  • recurrent infections
  • always feeling hungry
  • gradually putting on weight.

Currently there is no cure for diabetes. However, unlike type 1, type 2 diabetes can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.

It is also recommended that every Australian living with diabetes should visit a dietitian for personal advice and recommendations tailored specifically for their condition.

To also help assess your risk of developing diabetes you can complete the Diabetes Australia diabetes risk calculator.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are concerned about your health, it’s important you visit your doctor.

Resources regarding diabetes:

Diabetes symptoms – healthdirect
About Diabetes – Diabetes Australia
Diabetes risk calculator– Diabetes Australia