When we eat foods that have carbohydrates in them our body breaks these down into sugar (glucose). A hormone called insulin then moves glucose from our blood into the cells in our body where it is then used as energy. Diabetes occurs when your body is unable to control the amount of glucose in your blood.
People with Type 1 Diabetes are unable to produce enough insulin. It affects less than 1% of the Australian population and is commonly diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence. Managing this form of diabetes requires insulin injections numerous times a day.
Whereas people with Type 2 Diabetes are either unable to use insulin properly because they are insulin resistant or the pancreas may not produce enough insulin. This is the most common form of diabetes and affects 7.1% of Australians aged over 25 years. It is most common in people aged over 40 years who are overweight and/or have a family history of type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes can be managed and treated by improving eating habits, increasing exercise and in some cases medication. Some people may even need insulin injections.
Gestational diabetes is another form of diabetes that usually occurs between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy due to changes to normal hormone levels. In Australia, it affects around 5% of women during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes will usually disappear in most women once their baby is born, however 30-50% of women will develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Symptoms of diabetes can include;
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Feelings of constant hunger
- Feeling tired
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Feeling dizzy
- Blurred vision
- Frequent skin infections and slow healing
Pre-diabetes is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Individuals with pre-diabetes have higher levels of glucose than normal in the blood, but not enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. There are many risk factors associated with the development of pre-diabetes including; unhealthy diet and eating habits, low levels of physical activity, having a family member with diabetes, high blood pressure and being overweight.
The onset of diabetes from pre-diabetes can be prevented and at Healthy Body Healthy Mind Nutrition Services we will support you in making the healthy eating and lifestyle changes required. We will also assist you in learning how to manage your diabetes and how different foods can affect your blood glucose levels. Managing your diabetes will not only make you feel better, but also aid in the prevention of the health complications associated with diabetes.