Diabetes need not be complicated, according to a clinician scientist who will give a guest lecture in Albury on Wednesday, November 13.
Professor Merlin Thomas, program leader in the department of diabetes at Monash University, said the modern management of diabetes could significantly reduce the incidence and severity of complications.
"In particular new medications now available in Australia not only help to control sugar levels in the blood, but also cut the risk of kidney failure by almost half," he said.
"Over the horizon are even better medications that have the promise of even better sugar control."
Professor Thomas, who grew up in Wagga, will discuss the future of diabetes treatment at Commercial Club Albury from 7.30pm, entry by gold coin donation with no need to book first.
A researcher, educator and medical storyteller, Professor Thomas received the Millennium Research Award last year and has published more than 300 works, including books The Longevity List and Fast Living Slow Ageing.
"Our research is developing a new treatment to prevent and treat diabetic complications," he said.
"By selectively blocking the pathways that lead to complications we hope to shape the future management of diabetes."
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Professor Thomas said at least one in three adults would develop diabetes, a syndrome in which blood glucose levels become elevated, as they aged.
He said most people who developed type 2 diabetes were overweight or obese.
"So the best time to deal with type 2 diabetes is well before you get it," he said.
"Fortunately, it's not hard.
"We only get fatter when the food we eat contains more energy than we burn with our bodies' activities.
"So prevention of type 2 diabetes is all about eating less and burning more.
"To burn more energy we need to spend less time in our chairs and more time being active.
"We need to change our diets to reduce the amount as well as the kind of things we normally eat."
Professor Thomas said type 2 diabetes was worth preventing "not just to avoid pills and injections".
"In the long term, high glucose levels are a leading cause of heart disease, vision loss, amputations, kidney failure, severe infections and an early grave in the country," he said.
"Keeping control now is an investment in a better future."
Albury-Wodonga Diabetes Support Group president Jill Craig said she was delighted Professor Thomas had accepted her group's invitation to speak.
"I would urge anyone with diabetes or a special interest in diabetes to attend," Ms Craig said.