Alf says silent disease worth talking about

DIABETES changed Alf Brodie’s life.

Now, with the help of an expo at North Orange, the 67-year-old is hoping more people become aware of the same “silent” disease that has dogged him for the last four years.

“I’m glad there’s something like this out there, because it’s a bad thing to have. I had a friend die from it not long ago and she was only 42,” said Mr Brodie, a type 2 diabetic.

“That bugged me a bit.”

Part of National Diabetes Week, the expo was run on Wednesday by North Orange pharmacist Tim Denham.

He was assisted by diabetes educator Wayne Burgess, dietician Emma Gardiner, exercise physiologist Kate Butler and optometrist Jake Hansen in a bid to get those affected by the disease together for help.

“People in regional areas are 33 per cent more likely to get type 2 diabetes, which is preventable, so we’re trying to tackle that a bit better,” Mr Denham said.

“It tends to be something that’s silent and takes a while to get going. 

“That’s why it’s good to get screened by your doctor every 12 months.”

A recent study has revealed diabetes costs individuals, families, employers, businesses and governments a total of $14.6 billion per year.

As a result, Diabetes Australia has released a National Diabetes Strategy and Action Plan as a framework for the incoming government following the 2013 federal election.

With 1.5 million Australians already suffering diabetes, investment in prevention is one of the key points.

On Wednesday at North Orange, Mr Denham said the response from those in the area was overwhelming.

“It’s been fantastic. We’ve had 30 people in the first half an hour just coming out with simple questions to help them through,” he added.

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