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Diabetes, Kidney Disease and Sugar

Below is a selection of educational radio programs addressing the topics of Diabetes, Kidney Disease and Sugar in the body. This programs have been produced to air on the Yolŋu Radio Service. Simply hit the play audio button to play any track in a popup window.

These files are in MP3 audio format and should play in your default Media Player when you click the Play Audio button.

Diabetes, Kidney Disease and Sugar Programs

Diabetes - A Lifestyle Disease
Discusses how overeating and a sedentary lifestyle can cause diabetes. (Length 9:39)
Diabetes - Back to the bush
Traditional foods as a preventative for diabetes. (Length 23:31)
Diabetes - Exercise for prevention
Exercise is a good preventative for diabetes. Activity was an integral part of the traditional lifestyle. (Length 6:20)
Diabetes - Fresh Water Good Food for Prevention
Water, healthy foods and exercise are good preventatives for diabetes. (Length 9:50)
Diabetes - The Health Implications
Discusses diabetes and some health implications such as damage to the eyes & wounds not healing efficiently. (Length 12:21)
Diabetes - Too much Sitting around
Explains how diabetes can be caused by things other than white sugar. Overeating and a lack of exercise are key factors in the rise in diabetes. (Length 6:07)
Diabetes and kidney disease - talking about tablets
Explains why people take kidney tablets for diabetes. (Length 11:43)
Diabetes Series 4 Part 1 What does Diabetes mean
This program is a discussion with the director of Menzies School of Health Research about the origins of the name ’Diabetes‘. The name ’Diabetes‘ comes from the Greek word for honey due to diabetics having a lot of sugar in their urine, or sweet urine. Two thousand years ago in Greece when diabetes was first discovered, the doctors would taste the urine to test if it was sweet, indicating that the person had diabetes. (Length 10:03)
Diabetes Series 4 Part 2 - Sweet drinks cause Diabetes
Diabetes was a rare disease until about 40 or 50 years ago. Now, there are twice as many people with Diabetes in Australia than there was 20 years ago. When people get fat, they can get Diabetes. Diabetes is caused by eating a lot of food that is high in fat and sugar, overeating and not exercising enough. Drinking sugar in tea and soft drinks also increases the risk. Sweet drinks give us a lot of sugar, but do not satisfy hunger. In the past, certain foods were only available at specific times, such as wild honey, which takes a lot of energy to source. Before sweet drinks were available, we only drank water. Drinking water instead of sweet drinks can help prevent diabetes. (Length 12:31)
Diabetes Series 4 Part 3 Overeating and no exercise causes Diabetes
When we overeat, or eat lots of sugar and fatty foods, then we end up with excess fat in our bodies and blood, which can lead to diabetes. Our liver turns sugar into fat. Fat can get stored all over the body, but too much fat around the stomach is dangerous. Wallabies get fat from the sugar in grass. Fat is being moved in and out of our fat cells and blood all the time. When there is a lot of fat around our stomach, fat is transferred into our blood, which can block up the blood vessels, leading to strokes or heart attacks. It also makes the insulin and pancreas weak, from having to work so hard. (Length 10:57)
Diabetes Series 4 Part 4 No exercise causes Diabetes
This program focuses on prevention and healthy management of diabetes. Yolŋu traditionally had a good diet of bush foods and lots of exercise to source it. Now people drive cars, motor boats and buy shop food. It is important to buy ”good food” in the store, like fruit, vegetables and meat without fat on it. If we get fat, we can end up with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even kidney disease. A trial in WA where 14 people with diabetes went to their homelands and lived off the land and after only 7 weeks their diabetes became much better, almost cured. Their blood pressure and weight also went down. The ”medicine” was good bush food and lots of exercise. (Length 15:44)
Diabetes Story Part 1 of 6
Diabetes is a sickness relating to sugar. This program discusses how sugar and fat enters the body, breaks down in the stomach and gives us energy. It explains that traditional bush food like ”guku” or honey has lots of sugar. Other bush foods like seafood and roots do not taste sweet but do have lesser amounts of ”sugar” in them still give us energy. The pancreas is introduced as an organ that sits near our stomach and produces Insulin to help our bodies ”manage” the sugar we eat. (Length 11:26)
Diabetes Story Part 2 of 6
Further discussion on the pancreas' function; the role of insulin in responding to varying levels of sugar in our body and assisting sugar to enter our muscles and other parts of the body. There are two types of diabetes; ‘Type 1‘ diabetes is when there is not enough insulin produced, and ’Type 2‘ is when the insulin is ”weak”. When we eat something with sugar in it, our body uses a little bit straight away but there is left over sugar in our blood. This left over sugar is stored up as fat for use later. This is how a person can become fat. The pancreas is constantly working and is a very important organ. (Length 10:52)
Diabetes Story Part 3 of 6
This program follows on with further discussion of how sugar and fat are used and stored in our bodies, and the implications associated with being overweight, such as the stress to the Pancreas. Overweight people can feel tired and weak; this is due to overworking the pancreas with too much excess sugar, meaning that not enough can be processed into useable energy for the muscles and body to function easily. If a person is diagnosed with diabetes, it is for the rest of their life. However, there are ways to manage it such as good food, exercise and medicine; these all aim to help keep the blood sugar levels near normal. There is no way to cure diabetes entirely though. (Length 11:39)
Diabetes Story Part 4 of 6
This program explains the process of blocking and damaging blood vessels due to excess fat in the blood. It explains that this means the blood cannot travel around the body easily, which leads to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, and provides explanation of how each one of these occurs. It explains that fat damages the large blood vessels in the body, whereas sugar damages the smaller capillaries (tiny blood vessels) in our kidneys and eyes. The program concludes with advice to diabetics in relation to lack of blood flow to the feet and the care that must be taken if a diabetic gets a skin sore on their feet. (Length 10:26)
Diabetes Story Part 5 of 6
Following on from the previous introduction to the way sugar damages the capillaries in the kidneys and the eyes, this program elaborates into how that damage can take effect. For the kidneys, it means a dialysis machine will need to assist in the task of cleaning the rubbish out of the blood. For the eyes, damage to the capillaries at the back of the eyes means that the person will not be able to see properly. The program discusses good ways to manage diabetes to keep the blood sugar levels as normal as possible. These include eating bush food, good fresh fruit and vegetables and other packaged food that has the heart foundation tick, and making sure to get plenty of exercise. (Length 12:56)
Diabetes Story Part 6 of 6
This program follows on from the talk about good and bad foods and fats in part 5. There are other good fats from vegetables, such as olive or canola oil, but they still need to be used in moderation. Smoking and alcohol are bad for the body and can contribute to blood vessels becoming blocked. People with diabetes should go to the clinic regularly for checkups on their eyes and kidneys. For management of diabetes make sure to eat good food, take your medicine and exercise regularly. To prevent getting diabetes do the same - eat good healthy food and exercise regularly. (Length 8:27)
Diabetes Type 2 - The role of Insulin
Discusses type 2 diabetes and the role of insulin in the body. (Length 10:14)
Diabeties and blindness
Talks about how diabetes can cause blindness. 12:33
Kidney disease - Causes
This program is an in-depth discussion about the causes of kidney disease. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney disease in the NT and around the world. The kidneys are made of many small capillaries that filter the blood and clean out any rubbish, which is then excreted from the body through urination. High blood sugar levels and blood pressure (diabetes) causes the capillaries to harden, scar and eventually block, meaning they can‘t filter blood. This is kidney disease. Prevention of diabetes comes through a good healthy diet without much junk food, water instead of soft drinks and enough exercise to burn excess fats and sugars. (Length 19:08)
Kidneys - filtration of waste products
An in-depth discussion of the kidney‘s role, filtering waste products from the body. (Length 14:21)
Soft Drinks - Part 1 of 5 - Is there battery acid in coke
One of the first questions that came out of dialogue about soft drinks with Yolŋu was ’Does Coke really have battery acid in it?‘ In this program Dr Alyssa Vass and Djimbuluku Dhurrkay discuss what citric acid is, and the difference between citric acid and battery acid. 8:18
Soft Drinks - Part 2 of 5 - what gives coke its brown colour
Many Yolŋu believe the colour brown in Coke comes from berries and that this is what gives it a sweet taste. This program talks about caramel colouring, and how it is made. People remember caramel being made in the school during mission time. This history story is told by Djimbuluku to scaffold new information. (Length 6:57)
Soft Drinks - Part 3 of 5 - how much sugar is there in coke
Research on this topic revealed that some Yolŋu do not know there is sugar in many drinks that come from the shop. This program discusses how many teaspoons of sugar are in small and large bottles of Coke, Sprite, Fanta, and orange juice. (Length 5:43)
Soft Drinks - Part 4 of 5 - what happens to sugar in your body
This program discusses what happens when sugar is digested. This includes how excess sugar is converted to fat and puts us at risk of diabetes and heart disease. (Length 6:00)
Soft Drinks - Part 5 of 5 - What happens when we eat Apples
This program compares the sugar in an apple to the sugar digested in a can of coke. It links back to and reinforces the new concept of ’excess sugar being converted to fat‘. (Length 6:16)
What Causes Renal Disease
Looks at the causes of renal disease. (Length 23:27)