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Why me?

Nobody knows how or why some people get diabetes but there are some things we know that can add to your risks of getting it. You have more chance of getting diabetes when you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander but not all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have diabetes.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people live differently today to how they used to live. Changes that add to your chances of getting diabetes are:

  • not being as physically active as before
  • being more overweight than before
  • eating fatty, salty, and sugary foods.

People living the old way were usually:

  • physically active
  • leaner and fitter.

They also ate healthy food (bush tucker).

Your chances of getting diabetes can also be higher if:

  • it is in your family tree, or  someone in your family has diabetes
  • you had diabetes when you were pregnant
  • you get older
  • you eat too much and too many fatty and sugary foods
  • you are overweight
  • you are not physically active enough
  • you have pancreatitis (a sickness of the pancreas).

There are some things you cannot change to stop you from getting diabetes:

  • if it is in your family
  • if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • if you are pregnant and have gestational diabetes
  • you are getting older.

The things you can do to slow down the start of diabetes:

  • eat healthy and be a healthy weight
  • be active
  • do not drink too much grog.

Nobody knows why or how people get diabetes. After a while it can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes, feet and nerves, and make you really sick later in life.

Talk to your doctor, clinic, nurse or health worker about having a test to find out if you have diabetes. You cannot always feel it or see it happening, so you might not know you have it.

Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

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