• 14/15 – Transport operators are high risk for Type 2 Diabetes

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    WATM | January/February 2015

    Sadly, transport operators are in the high-risk category for Type 2 Diabetes. WA Transport Magazine asked Executive Director of Diabetes Research WA – Sherl Westlund to explain more about this disease and ways it can be avoided.

    Q: What is Diabetes?
    A: Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which acts like a key to let glucose and the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells in the body to produce energy. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. Insulin helps glucose get into the cells. Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycaemia). Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.
    Q: Can you explain the three main types of Diabetes?
    A: Type 1 Diabetes accounts for 10% of
    people with Diabetes. It is an autoimmune disease whereby the body seeks out and destroys the insulin producing cells. Insulin is required to convert the food we eat into energy for our cells and we cannot live without it. Injections of insulin are required for the rest of a person’s life. Type 1 Diabetes most commonly occurs in children but older adults can develop it.

    Presently there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes although we are funding research into the development of insulin producing cells at the Centre for Diabetes Research in Perth.

    Type 2 Diabetes accounts for almost 90% of Diabetes cases. It is either the inability to use or reduced production of insulin in the body. It is usually brought about by being overweight or obese and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Treatment includes medication to help use insulin or to stimulate the production of insulin. Insulin injections may be required when the production of insulin drops to very low levels. People usually develop Type 2 Diabetes later in life but it can develop at any time and we are now seeing children developing the condition…

    To read more, a pdf version of the full article is available for download here.

    This article is from the January/February 2014 issue of the WA Transport Magazine. The WA Transport Magazine is available directly from the publisher – Angry Chicken Publishing.