#DiabetesStories featuring Rod

What better way to kick off Men's Health Week than with a #DiabetesStory.

Rod was generous enough to share his experience of living with diabetes with us and the community.

Rod's story begins the way too many diabetes diagnoses stories do - with a trip to the emergency room.

“I woke up about 10ish, was feeling fine then about 15 minutes later all of a sudden I felt quite ill. It felt a bit like food poisoning without the vomit or the diarrhoea… something was not quite right in my stomach,” he said.

Rod stumbled through the rest of his Saturday, but by the evening he was feeling bad enough to go to the emergency department at Footscray Hospital in Victoria. Doctors diagnosed Rod with pancreatitis, and admitted him to the hospital for five nights, but he wasn’t ready for what came next.

He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Prior to his visit to hospital Rod, aged 49, was one of the 500,000 Australians living with silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Many people live with the type 2 diabetes for up to seven years before they are diagnosed. In this time the condition can be contributing to the development of a range of complications including foot and eyesight issues.

For Rod, this was the wakeup call he needed to make some changes.

“I’m overweight. I have been probably for 20 years. My eating habits have sometimes let me down. The diabetes is the kick I needed to change my lifestyle and look after myself a lot better. I’m focusing on food portions and eating less. I am fortunate in that I like most foods, including vegetables. I’ve been conscious of putting less in my mouth. Cutting back on carbohydrates is also something I’m trying to do and I’m feeling much better,” he said.

Next time you’re at the GP have a chat about your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The earlier someone gets a proper diagnosis, the sooner they can start managing their diabetes with the help from a dedicated healthcare team. Rod was lucky to receive his diagnosis before any complications posed a greater risk to his quality of life.

You can also do a free online risk assessment here.

Why not take a risk assessment now? It could be the best decision you make today.