Thursday, November 14th is National Diabetes Day! For our bodies to work properly we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. This essential conversion of glucose into energy is performed by a hormone known as insulin. In people with diabetes, insulin is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts by the body.
Diabetes is a chronic disease characterised by high levels of glucose in the blood. Blood sugar levels are controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, or the body becomes resistant to insulin, or both. There are three main forms of the disease:
Diabetes prevalence figures in Australia are primarily estimated from findings arising out of the National Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Diabetes closely co-exists with cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease, with these three diseases accounting for around a quarter of the entire disease burden in Australia. Accordingly, diabetes shares a number of common risk factors with these other chronic diseases, including: insufficient physical activity, poor diet and failing to maintain a healthy abdominal weight.
Major risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes that cannot be modified include advancing age, genetic predisposition, ethnicity, and family history.Top of page
Diabetes is a chronic condition requiring the use of a variety of health services for its control and for the early diagnosis and treatment of associated complications. People with diabetes use a range of health services to control blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipid levels to reduce symptoms and the risk of complications, and to enhance their quality of life.
Diabetes is diagnosed when:
GPs are usually the initial point of contact for people with diabetes and, along with other primary and allied health professionals, will commonly manage diabetes in collaborative care arrangements. This can involve regular monitoring of a patient’s weight levels, blood levels, general health status, and more focused examinations of a patient’s eyes and feet. Where diabetes complications arise, patients will conventionally be referred, as appropriate, to endocrinologists, cardiologists, nephrologists, obstetricians and/or ophthalmologists.
People with diabetes often require medication regimes to control high blood glucose levels. In addition, affected persons may also require medications to reduce high blood pressure and/or cholesterol levels. Persons affected by type 1 diabetes require regular injections of insulin (a protein that removes excess glucose from the blood) in order to regulate their blood glucose levels (and to survive), and some persons with type 2 diabetes also require insulin in cases where their diabetic condition is difficult to control.
The information above has been sourced from Australian government Department of Health