About diabetes – definition

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is diagnosed when the level of glucose in the blood is greater than 7.0mmol/l (fasting) or greater than 11.1mmol/l (random). Symptoms include thirst, excessive urination, tiredness, infections and weight loss.

There are 3 main types of Diabetes:

  • Type 1 (previously known as insulin dependent Diabetes),
  • Type 2 (previously known as non-insulin dependent Diabetes) and
  • Gestational Diabetes.

Here are some interesting facts!

Approximately 7% of the Australian population has Diabetes, and the prevalence is increasing.

Research has shown that of this 7%, half do not know they have diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes occurs in approximately 10-15% of all cases of Diabetes.

It usually occurs in people under the age of 30, when the body no longer makes insulin, which regulates glucose in the blood.

The onset of Type 1 Diabetes is usually sudden. It is treated with insulin injections, healthy eating and physical activity.

Type 2 Diabetes

The majority of people with Diabetes have Type 2 Diabetes.

It usually occurs in people over the age of 30, but is becoming more prevalent in children.

Type 2 Diabetes is known to be a lifestyle-related condition that can “run in families” and is preventable. It occurs because insulin is produced in lesser amounts or is less effective.

The onset of Type 2 Diabetes is usually slow. Treatment involves healthy eating, physical activity and in some cases, tablets or insulin may be required.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

Gestational Diabetes is a temporary form of Diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, when certain hormones stop insulin from working properly.

It is usually detected during a routine screening test at 28 weeks.

Gestational Diabetes is usually treated with healthy eating alone. Insulin injections may be required.

Women who have had gestational Diabetes can prevent Type 2 Diabetes in later life through healthy eating and physical activity.