CHECKING UP: Credentialled Diabetes Educator Lyn Wilkie tests a colleague's blood sugar in the name of diabetes education in the bush.
CHECKING UP: Credentialled Diabetes Educator Lyn Wilkie tests a colleague's blood sugar in the name of diabetes education in the bush. Emily Bradfield

Extending the rural arm for diabetes education

DIABETES educator Lyn Wilkie is shining the light on "extending the regional arm” during National Diabetes Week this week.

Mrs Wilkie, a credentialled diabetes educator working in Dalby and its surrounds, sees more than 1000 patients through her work.

"There's a big percentage ... every day there's a new person being diagnosed with diabetes whether it is type one, type two, gestational diabetes,” she said.

"Probably within every hour there would be a new diagnosis of diabetes within Australia, it's a big thing.

"Diabetes can be a silent disease. I think if people have a diagnosis of diabetes it's very important to gain good control and look after their health.”

Mrs Wilkie has been interested in diabetes for more than 20 years and is an advocate for good education, particularly in rural areas.

"Some people look at it as 'oh it's just diabetes' but diabetes pertains to a lot of other things and I think it's really important for people to get a good understanding of what is diabetes and that can come from education and coming on board with the health program,” she said.

"Rural areas especially, a lot of people go undiagnosed for many months, they become generally unwell, tired, lethargic and don't realise they have diabetes.

"Unfortunately, sometimes we catch up with some of those a little bit down the track when they're not feeling very well.

" I think even just to go in and see your GP, have a general check, have a simple blood test is certainly always a good way to start.”

National Diabetes Week, which runs from July 14-20 is a chance to raise more awareness and good reminder to check up on your health.

Mrs Wilkie encouraged patients to have a general check if something was a bit off and they found themselves more tired than usual and lethargic.

She suggested popping into your GP for a general check or even just to the chemist for a blood sugar test.

"If a pharmacist picks up an abnormal blood sugar, they would encourage them to go see their GP where we can follow up,” she said.


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