Health & fitness

What you need to know about diabetes

As a chronic disease on the rise, diabetes is a complex condition affecting millions across the world.

To understand the seriousness of the condition, here are some facts about its prevalence and symptoms to look for.

The facts

According to Diabetes Australia, although diabetes can be well managed, there are several potential complications including stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, depression, blindness and limb amputation.

In fact, diabetes is known to be:

  • The leading cause of kidney failure
  • The leading cause of blindness in working age adults
  • A major cause of limb amputations.

As well as these physical implications, diabetes also affects mental health. In fact, more than 30 per cent of people with diabetes also experience depression, anxiety and distress.

The number of people diagnosed with diabetes is increasing across both Australia and the world.

Type 1 diabetes currently accounts for 10 per cent of all diabetes across Australia, while type 2 accounts for 85 per cent.

There are also large numbers of people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, and an estimated 2 million Australians are at high risk of developing the chronic disease.

Although lifestyle choices are often to blame for the increase in type 2 diabetes, genetics also plays a part, particularly for Chinese, South Asian, Indian, Pacific Islander and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.


The home doctor experts at House Call Doctor have listed some common symptoms of diabetes below:

  • Feeling tired and/or lethargic
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling thirstier than usual
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Leg cramps
  • Headaches
  • Unexplained weight loss (primarily for type 1 diabetes)
  • Slowly putting on weight (primarily for type 2 diabetes)

For more information on symptoms of diabetes, consult with your regular GP.

About the author

Doug Woodby

Doug Woodby

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