Diabetes is characterised by elevated blood glucose levels due to either insulin resistance or/and deficiency. It is prevalent in about 8% of the Australian population. Symptoms associated with new-onset of diabetes include lethargy, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision, increased thirst or urination. Individuals aged 40 years and older should be assessed by their general practitioner for their risk of developing diabetes and be considered for screening tests for diabetes at regular intervals.
Early detection and treatment of diabetes is important as it is a known risk factor for heart attacks, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, kidney disease, visual impairment and neuropathy. A majority of diabetic patients will have type 2 diabetes which can be managed with modifying diet and lifestyle factors, however some may require oral medications with or without insulin therapy.
Any diabetic patient who holds a heavy vehicle licence, is on insulin therapy or/and not achieving adequate glucose control with oral medications should consider attending an outpatient diabetes clinic or consult an Endocrinologist who specialises in diabetes management.