Good Health

THE RISING TIDE

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, and it’s estimated that 280 Australians develop diabetes every day – one person every five minutes. Worryingly, type 2 diabetes makes up 85 to 90 percent of all diabetes cases, and that number is growing. Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you have pre-diabetes, or you just want to get your blood sugar under control, the key to managing diabetes is knowledge. We guide you through the need-to-know of type 2 diabetes and how to prevent it, manage it and, in many cases, beat it.

DIABETES 101

Diabetes is a condition when the pancreas is no longer able to make the hormone insulin, or when the body can’t effectively use the insulin it produces. When we eat foods containing carbohydrates they are broken down into glucose (sugar) in the blood. Insulin transfers glucose from the blood into the liver and muscle cells for energy. As long as your body can keep up with the amount of insulin it needs, blood sugar levels stay in the healthy range. When insulin isn’t produced or isn’t controlled properly, it leads to raised glucose levels in the blood, also known as hypoglycaemia. Over time, this can cause complications throughout the body, such as blindness, kidney damage, gum disease and heart disease. Because diabetes is a serious condition, it can have a significant impact on quality of life and can reduce life expectancy. While this health handbook deals with type 2 diabetes, it’s worth knowing about the three main types:

TYPE 1 DIABETES

This is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. It’s estimated that type 1 diabetes makes up 10 percent of diabetes cases, and it most often presents

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