What Exactly is Diabetes?

Most everyone has heard of Diabetes, yet not everyone knows what the disease entails. Diabetes, collectively, is a number of disease that are caused by an imbalance of the hormone insulin within the body. The pancreas controls the amount of insulin and this hormone is used to store and process the sugar and fat that you eat.

When the pancreas produces little or no insulin, your body cannot process the food you eat properly. Diabetes is comprised of Type 1, Type 2 and gestational Diabetes. Type 1 is typically diagnosed in children and treatment includes regular blood sugar level testing and insulin injections.

Type 2 is most often seen in adults and the pancreas still releases some insulin. But care must be taken in diet and exercise to monitor this type of Diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes is confined to pregnant women and the mother must be carefully monitored as the disease can affect the health and development of the foetus.

Diabetes in Australia

Over a million Australians are reported to be suffering from Diabetes with 85% having Type 1 and 13.5% having Type 2.

In other words, Diabetes afflicts almost 5% of the population. A significant increase is seen in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who report that 12.8% of people over 15 years of age have the disease. *

*(Source: Australian Government / Department of Health / http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/chronic-diabetes )