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New study reveals four out of five people with diabetes experience stigma as expert call for more screening


This National Diabetes Awareness Week (10 July – 16 July) shines a light on negative psychological stigma associated with the disease

Diabetes experts warn life-threatening conditions may develop if diabetes is not properly managed

A new study from the Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes (ACBRD) has found that four out of five people living with diabetes have experienced some sort of stigma and that having diabetes more than doubles the risk of developing depression.

This year the theme of National Diabetes Awareness Week (10 July – 16 July) is focussed on the stigma associated with diabetes and people with the disease are being encouraged to discuss their diagnosis.

A recent US studyalso showed that the most widely reported experience of having diabetes was the perception of flawed character or failure of personal responsibility.

While the rigour of managing diabetes is already challenging enough, the feeling of social judgement and potential guilt associated with the stigma of having diabetes can lead to negative psychological, behavioural and physical consequences such as depression, anxiety and fear of negative feedback from blood glucose testing.

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People with diabetes or those at risk should reach out for help and support to manage their diabetes. Blooms The Chemist offers free Diabetes Monitoring (Blood Glucose Screening) to assist people diagnosed with diabetes or those with a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

As the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults, the leading cause of preventable limb amputations and the leading cause of kidney failure Blooms The Chemist Pharmacist and Diabetes Expert Claire Ross, emphasises the importance for those living with diabetes or those at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes to have regular monitoring of their blood glucose levels.

“Regular health checks can help identify early warning signs of disease and illness,” Ms Ross says.

“With 1.4 million people in Australia living with diabetes, it’s important for people at higher risk to monitor their blood glucose levels. While this test will not confirm if you have diabetes, a high blood glucose reading may signal that there may be an issue.

“It is important to be actively involved in your own health care and to partner with a trusted healthcare professional to ensure the correct diabetes management plan is in place to optimise the opportunity to live life to the fullest without it becoming overwhelming,” adds Ms Ross.  

The testing process at Blooms The Chemist is simple. A small amount of blood is taken from the fingertip and applied to a testing strip. Within a few minutes, a result will appear and this can be shared with a GP to discuss whether further treatment may be required.

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