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The inside story on diabetes

2 May 2019

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is an increasingly common condition where the body is unable to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. Sugar (glucose) is found in the food and drink you eat and is an energy source for your body. If you have diabetes, your body is unable to properly use food to create energy.

There are two main types of diabetes - Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes causes your body to stop producing any insulin at all. Type 1 - can happen at any age but usually starts earlier in life. The appropriate treatment is to use insulin injections or an insulin pump.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is where your pancreas either does not produce enough or your body cannot properly use the insulin it makes.

Type 2 usually starts later in life and can sometimes be managed with diet and exercise. Tablets or injections may also be prescribed.

Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes include:

  • Family history
  • Inactivity
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Genetics/ethnicity

Staying healthy with diabetes

Monitoring blood glucose, having a healthy diet and keeping active can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes related complications.

Complications can include:

  • Vision loss
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney damage
  • Nerve damage

By sharing your blood sugar values with your healthcare team can help to make sure that your medicine and lifestyle are helping you to stay in range.

Caring for your diabetes is important to your health, here are some tips:

  • Know your target HbA1c level and your blood sugar target range - ask your Healthcare Professional if you are not sure
  • Get advice on self-monitoring
  • Schedule regular checks on your general health (e.g. eyes, feet, cholesterol, weight, etc.)

Managing diabetes can be tough but following a plan can help you stay in range and feel great.

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