In Australia 280 develop diabetes every day ( updated October 2012 )
Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease with nearly 1 million people diagnosed, however it is estimated that there are approximately 1.7 million people with diabetes who have yet to be diagnosed.
It is thought that there are 3.2 million Australians with diabetes and pre-diabetes. As the 6th leading cause of death, it is critical we take action to diagnose and treat this largely preventable disease.
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 may not be working properly, or 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.
To prevent complications we need to prevent raised blood sugars through dietary and lifestyle modifications, as well as using medications.