YEARS of research into the causes of diabetes has led to an increased awareness of the disease.
But Armidale’s Dean Bailey (pictured) says there is still a widespread public misunderstanding over the disease’s contrasting types.
With the nation currently celebrating Diabetes Awareness Week, Mr Bailey said people must recognise the difference between the conditions.
Diagnosed with type one diabetes at 13 months, the now 42-year-old believes more needs to be done to change perceptions.
“I think with everything going on in the media, particularly with a strong focus on people being overweight, there is a real misunderstanding around diabetes,” he said.
“Type one and two are both totally different diseases; my condition is autoimmune, caused from a lack of insulin which leads to increased blood and sugar levels. But type two is actually preventable.”
Mr Bailey said he uses needles to manage his condition, which nearly killed him at a young age.
“The doctor said there was no such thing as a diabetic baby, so I nearly died because of his failure to diagnose it,” he said.
“I still use needles because they only really only use the pump for people who aren’t in totally control of their diabetes.”
Despite a greater focus on diabetes, Mr Bailey said he hoped more research would be done to lead to some form of prevention.
The prevalence of both types of diabetes is growing, with 3.5 million Australians suffering from the disease.
More than 3 million Australians over 25 years of age are predicted to have the condition by 2025.
“I think there really should be more funds invested in research to try and find a cure for this condition,” he said.