Why diabetes ‘diagnosis’ took years

IT took doctors seven years to work out that Dulwich Hill resident Yvonne Appleby had diabetes as her symptoms were not typical.

“I wasn’t thirsty, running to the toilet or losing weight,” Ms Appleby, 55, explained.
“Instead I had gained 20kg, which is a lot on someone who is under five feet tall, but I wasn’t doing anything differently and had absolutely no energy.
“The glucose wasn’t getting into my cells so I was constantly hungry but too exhausted to eat or exercise as the doctor suggested.”
Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Ms Appleby takes a tablet a day which stops the liver releasing too much glucose.
“After seven years of feeling sick, within three days of taking the tablet I felt almost back to normal,” she said.
“It still needs management though. I make sure I have a snack right on bedtime and I always carry jelly beans in case I have a low. If my blood sugar is high, I will drink lots of water and go for a walk.
“When I felt better, I took up dancing and the weight just fell off; even with Covid, I go online, do an hour’s dance class and then feel amazing. I can’t recommend dancing enough.”
Ms Appleby also has asthma and glaucoma but there is no family history of any illness.
“My mother is 94 and in perfect health,” she said.
With an estimated 500,000 people in Australia not knowing they have diabetes, Ms Appleby, who is an Ambassador for Diabetes NSW & ACT, is urging everyone to take the simple five-second test at the GP.
“The sooner it is caught and treated, the less problems with your heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and feet down the track,” she added.