The number of people with diabetes in Australia is three times higher than 25 years ago! Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes and many don’t know that they have it.
Diabetes is a condition in which the level of glucose (a sugar) in the blood is too high. This is caused by a problem with the hormone 'insulin' and its role in controlling blood glucose levels.
When the relationship between glucose and insulin is intact, the body controls glucose in the following way:
In all diabetic cases, excess glucose remains in the blood stream resulting in higher than normal blood glucose levels.
Both types of diabetes show similar symptoms but the severity is usually greater in type 1 diabetes. The symptoms of diabetes include:
Please seek medical advice if you experience or suffer any of these signs or symptoms.
Treatments are available for diabetes but prevention is preferred to avoid long-term complications by:
Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin replacement injections, usually several times a day. For type 2 diabetes, medications and eventually insulin injections may be needed as the disease progresses and the pancreas produces less insulin.
Glucose levels can be tested with a drop of blood obtained by pricking the finger with a sharp needle, or as part of an oral glucose tolerance test ordered by your doctor.
|Normal blood glucose||4–6 mmol/L|
|Moderate blood glucose||6–7 mmol/L|
|High blood glucose||Above 7 mmol/L|
However the symptoms of diabetes may not appear until blood glucose levels are higher. So some people may have diabetes without knowing about it!
Over time, untreated high blood glucose levels will cause:
* Based on the Diabetes Australia targets for glycaemic control.
We aim to reduce death and disability from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health disorders related to obesity through research, clinical care, education and advocacy.
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Disclaimer: While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the material contained within these factsheets, the information is provided on the basis that persons undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. In particular, readers should seek independent professional medical advice from their general practitioner or specialist in relation to their own individual circumstance or condition before making any decisions based on the information in these fact sheets. The material also includes summarised guidelines or recommendations based on information provided by third parties. The Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute disclaims to the extent permitted by law, all liability including negligence for claims of losses, expenses, damages and costs that the reader may incur (or suffer) from acting on or refraining from action as a result of all information in these fact sheets.