Are you at risk?

Minimise the risk: Oberon Pharmacy will be conducting free diabetes screening services throughout National Diabetes Week. Photo: Supplied.
Minimise the risk: Oberon Pharmacy will be conducting free diabetes screening services throughout National Diabetes Week. Photo: Supplied.

Diabetes is a fast growing problem in Australia, with more than 100,000 Australians developing diabetes in the past year, with Type 2 diabetes a particular problem as it represents 85 to 90 per cent of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, the insulin doesn't work effectively and/or the cells of the body don't respond to insulin effectively. It is more likely in people with a family history of Type 2 diabetes or from particular ethnic backgrounds, and is most common in people over 45 years of age, however it's becoming increasingly common increasingly occurring in younger age groups.

A new study from Deakin University has found that taking twice daily doses of 500mg of vitamin C can help with Type 2 diabetes by lowering elevated blood sugar levels across the day and minimising spikes in blood sugar after meals. The study also found vitamin C lowered blood pressure in those with Type 2 diabetes, suggesting benefits for heart health.

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Lead researcher Associate Professor Glenn Wadley, from Deakin's Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, said the results may help the 1.2 million Australians currently living with Type 2 diabetes. "While physical activity, good nutrition and current diabetes medications are standard care and very important for managing Type 2 diabetes, some people can find it tough to manage their blood glucose levels even with medication," he said. "We need to find new ways to help people with Type 2 diabetes reduce the incidence and severity of diabetic complications and improve their quality of life".

Professor Wadley said that something as simple and easily accessible as vitamin C could provide many benefits for sufferers. "For people living with Type 2 diabetes, vitamin C could be a potentially cheap, convenient and effective additional therapy, used in addition to their usual anti-diabetic treatments to improve glycaemic control".

Oberon Pharmacy are offering a free diabetes screening service for National Diabetes Week 2019 which runs from July 14 to July 20. Everyone is welcome to visit the pharmacists for free blood glucose testing to help identify the risk of diabetes or to discuss ways to help manage existing diabetes better.