As Australians hit the stores to grab last minute Father's Day presents, health experts say the best gift for Dad this year is a health check up.
Men over the age of 45 make up many of the estimated two million Australians considered at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Other factors that increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:
If you have a family history of diabetes
are overweight or obese
have an inactive lifestyle
are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, Melanesian, Polynesian, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern or from the Indian sub-continent
have high blood pressure
have abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels
More than 100,000 Australians are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year and as
diabetes has no symptoms or pain in the early stages, experts say there are also large numbers of people with silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes damaging their bodies.
Over time, the small spikes in blood glucose experienced by those with type 2 diabetes, can lead to serious health issues including erectile dysfunction, vision impairment, vascular damage and even amputations.
In fact, Diabetes Australia says that more than 4,400 diabetes-related amputations are performed at Australian hospitals every year. That's around 12 amputations every day.
The good news is that many cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented, or the onset delayed, by making proactive lifestyle changes.
'It's important that Australians understand that diabetes cannot be cured. While people can live a long life with type 2 diabetes, proper management is critical to reducing the severity and likelihood of its serious consequences," said preventative health expert Dr. Ross Walker.
Dr. Walker says that even small changes in diet and exercise can make a big difference in reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
'Getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and managing your cholesterol levels blood pressure will help you avoid developing diabetes and prevent or delay long term damage."
'For those who already have pre-diabetes or well-controlled diabetes, there are also exciting new solutions, such as Faulding GlucoControl, which reduces the dangerous spikes in blood sugar levels after a high GI meal," added Dr. Walker.
'Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. That means the odds that type 2 diabetes impacts you, or someone you love, is greater than ever. If you think you're at risk, talk with your doctor and consider the ways in which you can reduce your risk levels."