Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood are too high. Blood glucose levels are normally regulated by the hormone insulin, which is made by the pancreas. Diabetes occurs when there is a problem with this hormone and how it works in the body.
Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system. Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million known and registered) as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (up to 500,000 estimated).
We do know that around 5.1 per cent of Australians aged 18 years or older have diabetes and the risk of diabetes increases with age, from 2.8 per cent in people aged 35 to 44, to 15.0 per cent in those aged 65 to 74.
FACT: Aboriginal people have one of the highest rates of type 2 diabetes in the world.
Nearly one in four adults over the age of 25 years have either diabetes or a condition known as pre-diabetes (impaired glucose metabolism). There are two conditions that fit into this category – Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) and Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT).
There is still a lot more to be learned about pre-diabetes. Without treatment, not everyone with Impaired Fasting Glucose will progress to Impaired Glucose Tolerance or type 2 diabetes. Likewise, not everyone with Impaired Glucose Tolerance will progress to type 2 diabetes.
Facts about Diabetes
- 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. That’s one person every five minutes
- It is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia
- More than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the past year
- For every person diagnosed with diabetes there is usually a family member or carer who also ‘lives with diabetes’ every day in a support role. This means that an estimated 2.4 million Australians are affected by diabetes every day
- In 2013, diabetes caused 5.1 million deaths globally.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Some types of diabetes have no symptoms, and can go undiagnosed for a long time, but some common symptoms can include:
- Increased thirst
- passing more urine
- feeling tired and lethargic
- slow-healing wounds
- itching and skin infections, particularly around the genitals
- blurred vision
- nausea and vomiting
- weight loss
- mood swings.
Complications of Diabetes
High blood glucose levels can result in serious complications. These include:
- kidney damage (nephropathy)
- eye damage (retinopathy)
- nerve damage to the feet and other parts of the body (neuropathy)
- heart disease (for example, angina or heart attacks), strokes and circulation problems in the legs
- foot ulcers or infections resulting from circulation problems and nerve damage.
Treatment for Diabetes
There is no cure for diabetes. Treatment aims to prevent complications by controlling blood glucose levels, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and by achieving a healthy body weight.
Management depends on the type of diabetes, but can include:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- physical activity and exercise
- stopping smoking
- having regular checks for possible diabetes complications.
Diabetes and Negative Ion Therapy
Diabetes patients are susceptible to cardiovascular damage caused by airborne pollution , Negative Ion Therapy counteracts the pollution in the air around you. Negative Ions adjust the endocrine secretion and stimulate areas of hyperinsulinism to produce insulin which may relieve the symptoms of diabetes.
Living with Diabetes
FACT: Diabetes is the single biggest challenge confronting the Australian health system costing around $14.6 billion every single year and every dollar we invest in reducing that bill is a dollar well spent.”
While there is currently no cure for diabetes, you can live an enjoyable life by learning about diabetes and how to effectively manage it.