Diabetes is a condition caused by the body either not producing any insulin or the insulin it is producing is not working as well as it should.
Insulin is a hormone. It’s role is to help glucose (or sugar) that we get from food, to be transported from the blood and used by the rest of the body for energy.
If someone has Diabetes, then they have higher than normal levels of glucose (sugar) in their blood because of this problem with their Insulin.
If Diabetes is not managed properly, it can cause serious long term complications in the body such as damage to the kidneys, eyes, body limbs, heart and even our sexual organs.
There are different types of Diabetes:
- Type 1 – this is when the body does not make any Insulin. It is often diagnosed in childhood or in young adulthood. People with this kind of Diabetes require regular Insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels.
- Type 2 – this is when the body makes insulin, but it is not working as well as it should. It is often diagnosed in people over 45 years of age. However over recent years in Australia, children and younger adults have been diagnosed with the condition much more often. It is often lifestyle related. Therefore by getting active and making healthy dietary changes can help to control the condition. Some people may require tablets or Insulin.
- Gestational Diabetes – this type of Diabetes occurs during Pregnancy. In most cases it goes away after the birth of the baby. It occurs because a woman’s pregnancy hormones can stop the Insulin working as well as it should. Insulin injections may be required by some women.
- Impaired Glucose Tolerance – this is also known as “pre diabetes”. A person’s blood sugar levels are higher than the average person, but they are not high enough to give a diagnosis of Diabetes. Like Type 2 Diabetes, staying active and following a healthy diet can help this condition and even stop it from progressing to Diabetes.
Who needs to see a Dietitian?
If you have any of these kinds of Diabetes or would like to prevent Diabetes, then a seeing a Dietitian is a great way of ensuring you are doing everything you can to manage your condition.
Even if you have had Diabetes for many years, you can still benefit from having a “diet tune up”.
If you'd like to see a Dietitian to chat about your situation, then Search for a SOL Dietitian in your area.
Australian Diabetes Council
Previously known as Diabetes Australia (NSW), this is one of the largest charities in Australia. They provide valuable information on how to prevent, manage and treat Diabetes.
Glycemic Index (GI)
Understanding GI is a valuable tool for managing Diabetes and overall health. This is the official GI website and includes a database for searching for the GI of your favourite foods.