Diabetes is a serious complex condition that can affect the entire body requiring daily self-care. If complications develop, diabetes can have a significant impact on the quality of life and can reduce life expectancy. While there is currently no cure for diabetes, you can live an enjoyable life by learning about the condition and effectively managing it.
There are different types of diabetes; all types are complex and serious, and anyone can develop diabetes. The three main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common, representing 85–90 per cent of all cases of diabetes.
When someone has diabetes, their body is unable to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a form of sugar, which is the main source of energy for our bodies. 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.
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, it stays in the blood resulting in high blood glucose levels leading to long term and short term health complications.
Diabetes is serious
Diabetes can be managed well but the potential complications are the same for type 1 and type 2 diabetes including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, limb amputation, depression, anxiety and blindness.
Early diagnosis, optimal treatment and effective ongoing support and management reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications. All types of diabetes are increasing in prevalence, though type 2 diabetes is increasing at the fastest rate and is one of the major consequences of the obesity epidemic. Genes also play a part with higher risk of type 2 diabetes in Chinese, South Asian, Indian, Pacific Islander and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. There are large numbers of people with silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, which may be damaging their bodies. An estimated 2 million Australians are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and are already showing early signs of the condition.
Our pharmacists are here to support and guide you through the steps needed to manage your diabetes well. We can test your blood glucose (sugar) level, and offer you a free one-on-one consultation in the pharmacy to help you understand your medicines better. A medication check with a pharmacist will help you learn more about the medicines you are using and how they interact, identify any challenges the medication is causing you and help improve the effective use of medication to improve your quality of life. Click here to find your nearest pharmacy for a free consultation with a pharmacist.