Diabetes in Indigenous Communities
There is little doubt that diabetes is one of the most significant health issues facing Indigenous people, especially type 2 diabetes, which is four times more likely to affect Indigenous than non-Indigenous people.
Diabetes is largely caused by the way people live their lives, so there is a lot that people can do to stop themselves from getting it, and a lot that can be done to lessen its impact if they do get it.
A recent major national survey, called the 2004-05 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey , found:
- Diabetes/high sugar levels were reported by around 1 in 16 Indigenous people
- Diabetes/high sugar levels were more common among Indigenous people living in remote areas (that is, communities/small towns) (around 1 in 11) than among those living in non-remote areas (that is, big towns/cities) (around 1 in 20)
- Diabetes/high sugar levels were more than 3 times more common among Indigenous people than among non-Indigenous people
- The difference of diabetes/high sugar levels between Indigenous and non-Indigenous females greater than the difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous males
- Indigenous people were more likely to get diabetes at younger ages than non-Indigenous people 
Management of your Diabetes
There is no way of curing diabetes, so it is important to keep it under control.
You can improve your diabetes by:
- losing weight
- eating healthier, more natural foods
- eating a few smaller meals per day rather than one or two large ones
- doing more exercise, including looking for ways to put more activity into your day (for example, walking to the shops instead of driving)
- taking medicines that can lessen the amount of sugar in your blood (if prescribed by doctor)
- stopping smoking
- drinking less alcohol
- having good hygiene (to reduce infections) 
You should also visit your health clinic often, so that:
- your eyes can be checked
- your feet can be checked
- your kidneys can be checked
- your blood pressure can be checked 
Make an appointment with our Clinic to assess your risks associated with Diabetes, or to monitor and control its effects.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Australia, 2004-05. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Couzos S, O’Rourke S, Metcalf S, Murray R (2003) Diabetes. In: Couzos S, Murray R, eds.Aboriginal primary health care: an evidence-based approach. 2nd ed. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press: 348-410
Source; Australian Indigenous Healthinfonet; http://www.healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au/