Diabetes is one of those diseases that we’ve all heard of, most of us know someone who has it, but few of us know exactly what it is, or how to live with it. It is a multi-faceted, serious disease that affects around 1.7 million Australians.
There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, with no known cause, and unfortunately it cannot be prevented. In Type 1 diabetics, the cells within the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed by the body’s immune system. Without insulin, the body’s cells cannot turn glucose, or sugar, into energy.
Type 1 diabetics rely on daily insulin injections, or an insulin pump, to provide the insulin that their bodies cannot produce.
Similarly, Type 2 Diabetes has no known cause, but there are many risk factors that can be avoided to assist in staying diabetes-free. It is a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. Essentially, it is a combination of ineffectual and not enough insulin.
Type 2 diabetes has strong genetic and family related risk factors, and can be effectively managed through a combination of diet and exercise.
The third type, Gestational diabetes, only occurs in pregnant women, and will more than likely disappear once the baby has been born. It is diagnosed by using glucose tolerance test. This involves ingesting a sugary liquid, and then undergoing a blood test to record your blood glucose levels. A higher than normal result indicates gestational diabetes. Like Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes can be managed through diet and exercise that is tailored to both the mother and her unborn child.
Diabetes is a global disease and affects more than 420 million people world-wide. November 14 is World Diabetes Day, and this year the theme is ‘Access to Care.’ In 2021, World Diabetes Day aims to raise awareness around the importance of improving access to diabetes care, and highlighting the need for more action to prevent diabetes and its complications. People with diabetes require ongoing care and support in order to live well with diabetes, and avoid complications. Fundamental components of diabetes care includes access to education and psychological support. People living with diabetes need ongoing education to manage their condition.
Are you worried about your chance of developing diabetes during your lifetime? EasyDNA Australia realises that diabetes is a serious condition that has genetic and environmental links. The Genetic Predisposition Test for Health and Disease provides peace of mind for people who want to learn more about their unique DNA, and the likelihood of developing 35 conditions and diseases, including Type 1 and 2 diabetes. With a simple oral swab test that you can take in the comfort of your lounge room, your DNA is analysed in our laboratories, and your results sent directly to you in a timely manner.
To find out more about diabetes, how to live with it, or to make a donation that will improve ‘access to care’ for sufferers and their families, visit Diabetes Australia. Help an Australian to live a sweeter life with diabetes today.