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When Wayne Beard’s eyesight began to deteriorate, his partner Jane Duncan knew something wasn’t right.Jane is supporting newly diagnosed Wayne this World Diabetes Day.

After booking in with their GP for a blood test, results confirmed that Wayne had type 2 diabetes.

The diagnosis came as a shock to the couple, who were told Wayne’s blood glucose was dangerously high at 28 and that he could not return to his job as a long-haul truck driver until it dropped to 18 or below.

While Wayne was prescribed medication, the doctor also advised him to make drastic changes to his eating habits to help get things under control.

For Jane, supporting Wayne on his journey to better health has been life-changing.

“Nothing has changed my life so much,” she says.

“These changes have helped him maintain a lower blood glucose level and helped him lose weight, giving him an opportunity to live a longer, healthier life.”

Wayne and Jane are now planning to attend Diabetes WA’s DESMOND program for people with type 2 diabetes. As Wayne’s key support person, Jane is eager to learn more about diabetes and understand how to help him better manage his condition.

World Diabetes Day is on November 14, and this year the theme is ‘Family and Diabetes’. As part of that theme, Diabetes WA encourages those who support people living with diabetes to attend a workshop with them, to find out more about how they can support their loved one.

For every Western Australian living with type 2 diabetes, there is someone living with the condition undiagnosed.  Western Australians need to have regular health checks as they may not have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or may not recognise the symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is the world’s fastest growing chronic condition and there is no cure. In WA, 4.3% of people are living with type 2 diabetes.

In type 2 diabetes, the body does produce insulin, but the insulin is ineffective, or there is not enough insulin, or both. Regular physical activity, a healthy eating plan, maintaining a ‘healthy waist’ and stress management are the cornerstones of preventing and managing type 2 diabetes.

Deborah Schofield, Diabetes WA’s General Manager of Health Services, believes early diagnosis is key.

“Early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is very important, 60% of people who are diagnosed early can walk away from type 2 diabetes by changing their diet and exercise routine, “ she says, “Early diagnosis, and well managed diabetes, will prevent further health complications of type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney damage, amputation, heart attack and stroke.”

Living with diabetes is a lot easier when you have support. Diabetes WA encourages Western Australians, and their support people, to access free diabetes management workshops and advice from credentialled diabetes educators.

For more information, you can visit our website www.diabeteswa.com.au or call our helpline, on 1300 001 880, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.

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