Diabetes Awareness Week: Do You Know The Facts?

Emma-Charlotte Bangay

Beauty and Lifestyle Expert

It’s Diabetes Awareness Week, so what better time to sit up and take note of this complex condition, which is developed by up to 280 Australians per day.

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The Facts On Diabetes:

Diabetes is not just a condition that affects the overweight or aged. It’s a global epidemic that simply can’t be ignored.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder affecting your body’s ability to properly store and use glucose as energy.

We consume glucose through foods including pasta, cereals, breads and some fruits and vegetables, but it is also made within the human liver and muscles. From there, it’s your blood’s job to supply this glucose store to the cells throughout the body as fuel.

However, to use this fuel efficiently, your body requires a seamless working supply of insulin. It’s rare to not hear the term ‘diabetes’ and ‘insulin’ in one sentence, and this is because both are inexplicably linked. Put simply, insulin is the hormone made by the pancreas gland to regulate and balance the blood glucose. It does this by stimulating the removal of glucose from being stored within the body.

However, sometimes the body cannot make enough insulin or insulin simply doesn’t work efficiently. This prevents glucose from being transported throughout the bodies’ cells. In turn, blood glucose levels can soar, and pre-diabetes may develop.

The Types Of Diabetes:

The stats on diabetes are staggering. The total number of Australians with diabetes and pre-diabetes is estimated at 3.2 million, including 120,000 people with type 1 diabetes, 956,000 people with type 2 diabetes 
and 23,600 women suffering from gestational diabetes. Indigenous Australians are three-times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-indigenous Australians.

Type 1: when your body makes too little or zero insulin. This is known as Type-1 Diabetes or Insulin-Dependent Diabetes (IDDM)

Type 2: when your body cannot use the insulin it does make. This is known as Type-2 Diabetes, Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes (NIDDM)

Gestational Diabetes: is also known as GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus), gestational diabetes is a condition in which women exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy, when they have never previously done so. This is most common in the third trimester and is caused by the insulin receptors failing to function properly.

The Treatments for Diabetes:

There is currently no cure for diabetes but Australian researchers are world-leaders in the quest for improving treatments and diagnosis until a cure is found.

Long-term health when faced with diabetes is based on a variety of things; lifestyle changes, blood-glucose level testing and management and medication. This depends on the type of diabetes but more significantly, the individual.

The aim of treatment is to keep the blood glucose levels as normalized as possible. Training the patient and Carers to achieve a successful management plan long-term is essential, and upon diagnosis, will stem from a culmination of medical, psychological and lifestyle assessments.

Common daily forms of treatment include insulin injections through to diet changes and regular blood-glucose level testing. Where Diabetes medications are no longer effective, some people seek treatments such as EndoBarrier, which is the first endoscopicaly-delivered device therapy for people living with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes and obesity.

If you are keen for more information on diabetes or Diabetes Awareness Week, visit Diabetes Australia

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