General Health Information / Promotion

General Health Information / Promotion

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 [1], 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 [1]

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) [2] 

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 [2]

Action

Make an appointment with our Clinic to assess your risks associated with Diabetes, or to monitor and control its effects.

Email: medical.reception@budjabudjacoop.org.au

 

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Australia, 2004-05. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  2. 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/