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 issue with their Insulin.
If Diabetes 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 living 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. Nutrition and physical activity can help to manage it. Some people may also require tablets or Insulin.
- Gestational Diabetes – this type of Diabetes occurs during Pregnancy. In most cases it goes away after the birth of baby. It occurs because a woman’s pregnancy hormones can sometimes 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” and where 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 what we eat can sometimes 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 chat about your options.
Even if you have had Diabetes for many years, having a chat and a check-in is always beneficial.
If you'd like to see a Dietitian to talk about your situation, then Search for a Dietitian in your area.
Australian Diabetes Council
Previously known as Diabetes Australia (NSW), this is one of the largest charities in Australia. If you are newly diagnosed with Diabetes, they have some really useful information.
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.