Diabetes is a chronic condition. This means that it lasts for a long time, often for someone's whole life.
For our bodies to work properly we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. A hormone called insulin is essential for the conversion of glucose into energy.
In people with diabetes, insulin is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts by the body.
So when people with diabetes eat glucose, which is in foods such as breads, cereals, fruit and starchy vegetables, legumes, milk, yoghurt and sweets, it can’t be converted into energy. Instead of being turned into energy the glucose stays in the blood. This is why blood glucose levels are higher in people with diabetes.
Glucose is carried arohttp://www.diabetesaustralia.com.auund your body in your blood. Your blood glucose level is called glycaemia.
Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach, stops making insulin. Without insulin, the body’s cells cannot turn glucose (sugar), into energy. Without insulin the body burns its own fats as a substitute. Unless treated with daily injections of insulin, people with type 1 diabetes accumulate dangerous chemical substances in their blood from the burning of fat. This can cause a condition known as ketoacidosis.This condition is potentially life threatening if not treated.
To stay alive, people with type 1 diabetes depend on up to four insulin injections every day of their lives. They must test their blood glucose levels several times daily. The onset of type 1 diabetes typically occurs in people under 30 years, but can occur at any age. About 10-15% of all cases of diabetes are type 1.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90% of all people with diabetes. While it usually affects older adults, more and more younger people, even children, are getting type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes some insulin but it is not produced in the amount your body needs and it does not work effectively.
Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although there is a strong genetic predisposition, the risk is greatly increased when associated with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.
Type 2 diabetes can often initially be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will also need tablets and many will also need insulin. It is important to note that this is just the natural progression of the disease, and taking tablets or insulin as soon as they are required can result in fewer complications in the long-term.
There is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes.
* source http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au
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