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What is Diabetes

What is diabetes ??

'Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease characterised by high blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia) resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Chronic hyperglycaemia of diabetes is associated with long-term damage in the body'

(AusDiab Report 2005)

 There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes:

Is autoimmune disease whereby the pancreatic beta cells  (the cells that produce insulin) are destroyed by mistake.

Insulin injections are required for survival. Accounts for approximately 10% of all persons with diabetes in Australia.

Can occur at any age, although usually before 40 years.

(You can find more information

Type 2 diabetes:

Is characterised by insulin resistance and/ or abnormal insulin secretion.

Is the most common form of diabetes accounting for more than 85% of persons with diabetes in Australia.

Has a strong genetic (familial) propensity.

Develops by lifestyle factors such as obesity and lack of exercise.

(You can find more information

Gestational diabetes:

Is temporary form of diabetes and only occurs during pregnancy.

Higher blood glucose levels are detected during routine screening.

The body is unable to produce enough insulin necessary during pregnancy.

Careful management and treatment is required during pregnancy.

Approximately 5% of pregnant women develop diabetes.

Here are some interesting facts about diabetes in Australia
(AIHW Report - Diabetes Facts 2008)

  • 700,000 Australians had diagnosed diabetes in 2004-05 
  • For every diagnosed case there is one undiagnosed case and 275 Australians develop diabetes every day.
  •  It is estimated that by 2025 more than 3.3 million Australians will have developed diabetes and 380 million people worldwide will be living with diabetes
  • Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases in developed nations.
  • Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage

(An overview of diabetes statistics in WA is available here)

 The DRF is doing everything possible to find solutions but we need your help. Find out how here 

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