Diabetes mellitus is a condition where the body cannot maintain normal blood glucose levels. It affects an estimated 940,000 Australians, and about half of these are not aware they have the disease. If undetected or poorly controlled, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation, heart attack, stroke and impotence.
If you are feeling generally unwell, are tired and often very thirsty you should speak to your GP who may arrange for you to be checked for diabetes.
The National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) is set up to help people with diabetes manage their condition. It also provides equipment (such as blood and urine testing strips, syringes and needles for special injection systems) at subsidised prices. You need to register with NDSS to get these benefits. The easiest way to do this is to speak to your local pharmacist.
The Australian Diabetes Council provides practical information on ways to prevent and live with diabetes. They also provide information specific to Indigenous Australians and people from non-English speaking backgrounds.