DIABETES WEEK: Nutritional Health and Wealth team members, Nicole Faulkner and Leah Murphy, promoting healthy lifestyle choices to prevent risk of diabetes.
DIABETES WEEK: Nutritional Health and Wealth team members, Nicole Faulkner and Leah Murphy, promoting healthy lifestyle choices to prevent risk of diabetes. Nicole Zurcas

'Silent killer' affects thousands but more don't even know

ALMOST 30,000 residents are living with type 2 diabetes on the Darling Downs, but experts believe there are more out there undiagnosed.

As part of National Diabetes Week, Warwick's Nutritional Health and Wealth is promoting products that reduce the risk of diabetes.

In-house naturopath Faunia Smith said many people weren't taking their fatigue seriously, and tiredness was a common diabetic symptom.

"People think they are just generally tired and don't realise the underlying cause of their tiredness,” Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith said important signs to look out for were excessive thirst and urination, weight loss or constant hunger, blurred vision, tingling in your hands and feet, sudden problems with skin such as light patches appearing and being more susceptible to infections.

According to Diabetes Australia, a person can be undiagnosed for up to seven years and by then serious damage can take its toll on the body.

Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of serious illnesses such as heart problems, kidney damage, blindness and amputation.

Early detection is the key to managing the condition, and in some cases can prevent it from developing.

Diabetes Australia is calling for health services across Australia to conduct more routine detections to prevent Australian's being affected by the "silent killer”.

With early detection, key lifestyle changes such as being active and managing a balanced diet could reduce the risk of diabetes, Ms Smith said.

On Friday, Nutritional Health and Wealth will be introducing "guilt-free doughnuts” to the store.

Team member Leah Murphy said healthy living didn't have to be boring.

"We want to promote healthy living to improve the quality of our customers' lives, which doesn't mean they have to sacrifice fun.”