Gestational diabetes is an epidemic posing an immediate threat to thousands of pregnancies

Gestational diabetes – the epidemic posing an immediate threat to thousands of pregnancies, and a future threat to the health of mothers, babies and families.

Health experts today warned of the alarming increase in gestational diabetes which in the past 12 months has affected 38,000 Australian women during pregnancy.

“In the last ten years, more than 200,000 women have developed gestational diabetes. Latest projections show that over the next decade more than 500,000 women could develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy,” said Professor Greg Johnson, CEO of Diabetes Australia.

New campaign to reduce epidemic of diabetes-related amputations

Australia’s diabetes experts gathered in Sydney this weekend to discuss bold new plans to dramatically reduce the number of diabetes-related amputations in Australian hospitals every year.

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said there were around 4,400 amputations performed in Australian hospitals every year - and up to 85 per cent of these could be prevented.

“The number of diabetes-related amputations of toes, feet and limbs is a national tragedy and we need to do more as a community to save limbs, to save lives and to save hospital budgets,” Professor Johnson said.

Diabetes is associated with anxiety symptoms

Research shows that moderate-to-severe anxiety symptoms, an indication of a potential anxiety disorder, affect one in five people with insulin-treated type 2 diabetes and one in six with type 1 diabetes or non-insulin treated type 2 diabetes.

Dr Adriana Ventura, Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD) and registered psychologist, who conducted the study, says the prevalence of elevated anxiety symptoms and disorders in people with diabetes is within the range of general population estimates. However, having anxiety and diabetes poses additional challenges.

“Living with diabetes can be difficult enough, managing healthy living, medications and monitoring, and fitting these into daily life. Experiencing anxiety as well adds to the burden, and can impact on both their medical outcomes and quality of life,” said Dr Ventura.

Hyperleptinemia in obesity is the cause of central insulin resistance

While we still don’t know what directly causes type 2 diabetes, a new study could reveal how obesity and high levels of a fat-derived hormone called leptin can increase a person's risk of developing insulin resistance.

This is one of the reasons behind the link between obesity and type 2 diabetes as obesity changes the brain’s response to insulin.

Researchers from Monash University plan to block leptin action in the brains of obese mice with the hope of dramatically lowering glucose production by the liver.

Possible link between Alzheimer’s protein and type 2 diabetes related cardiomyopathy

A new study is underway to explore a link between cardiomyopathy and Alzheimer’s disease.

Cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart is not able to pump enough blood around the body, which can cause symptoms such as breathlessness, tiredness and swelling in the legs and abdomen.

People with type 2 diabetes are predisposed to developing cardiomyopathy, known as diabetic cardiomyopathy, which means the heart’s ability to relax and refill with blood becomes impaired.

Diabetes Australia Launches New Position Statement on Glucose Self-Monitoring

Diabetes Australia today launched a new position statement Glucose self-monitoring in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to help make it easier for Australians living with diabetes to self-monitor their glucose levels and better self-manage their condition.

Glucose self-monitoring is one of the most important parts of diabetes management. It is also an area that is rapidly changing and can be confusing for people with diabetes. The position statement is designed to give people the information they need to decide the type of glucose monitoring that is right for them. It explains the technologies available, the pros and cons and the evidence for each.

Fixing Australia's disconnected care systems

Diabetes Australia CEO, Professor Greg Johnson yesterday attended a Roundtable meeting with the Minister for Heath, Hon Greg Hunt, in Melbourne coordinated by the Consumers Health Forum to press for greater Government focus on the value of consumer-centred primary care, prevention and research.

Professor Johnson spoke about prevention at the Roundtable stressing the need for stronger leadership and action from many sectors to prevent the development of chronic conditions including type 2 diabetes, many cancers, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, dementia and mental health issues.

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