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For Healthcare Professionals

This section contains information specifically for healthcare professionals that have an interest in Diabetes. To access this area you must be registered on this site and be logged in.

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Under 18?

This section is for under 18's and contains a great interactive tool to help you and your family learn more about diabetes.

Managing Diabetes

- The interactive web tool for children and families. It may be helpful to look at this section with your parents at first.

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What is Diabetes?

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Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body can't use glucose (a type of sugar) normally. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body’s cells. The levels of glucose in the blood are controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is made by the pancreas. Insulin helps glucose to enter the cells.

Diabetes is caused when there is resistance to, or deficient production of insulin, which helps glucose move from the blood into the body’s cells. When the body does not produce or use enough insulin, the cells cannot use the glucose for energy and the blood glucose level rises. This means that the body will instead start to break down its own fat and muscle for energy.1

Globally, there has been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of diabetes. It is estimated that if the current world wide trend prevails, there will be 380 million people affected by diabetes by the year 2025.2 Even though diabetes affects nearly 4% of the world’s population,3 many people know very little about the disease.

There are 2 primary types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system destroys the beta cells in the pancreas that create insulin. As a result, the body makes very little or no insulin of its own. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin daily. Type 1 diabetes is sometimes called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin, or the body cannot properly use the insulin it does create. Eventually, the pancreas may stop producing insulin altogether. Type 2 diabetes can affect people at any age. In both men and women, the more overweight an individual is, the greater the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.4

1 Department of Health and Ageing-What is diabetes? http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/pq-diabetes-what
2 International Diabetes Federation. Did you know? Available at: http://www.idf.org/home/index.cfm?node=264. Accessed October 16, 2008.
3 US Census Bureau. World Population Clock Projection. Available at: http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html. Accessed October 16, 2008. Estimated world population is 6.8 billion.
4 International Diabetes Federation. Fact Sheet Diabetes and Obesity. Available at: http://www.idf.org/home/index.cfm?node=1207. Accessed November 13, 2008.

 

A hormone produced in the beta cells in the pancreas. The body uses insulin to let glucose enter cells, where it is used for energy.

Also known as type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces no insulin or extremely small amounts. People with type 1 need to take insulin injections in order to survive.

Now known as type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces no insulin or extremely small amounts. People with type 1 need to take insulin injections in order to survive.

Type 2 Diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes accounts for more than 85-90% of people with diabetes in South Africa.1 In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas may make enough insulin, but the body cannot effectively use the insulin it creates. This is known as insulin resistance. Eventually, the pancreas may stop producing insulin altogether.

Type 2 diabetes traditionally affects people later in life, but can affect people at any age.

Additional risk factors or characteristics for type 2 diabetes include

  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Race/Ethnicity.

Because type 2 diabetes develops slowly and is often hard to detect, many people are not diagnosed until various complications appear. One-third of all people with diabetes may be undiagnosed.2

Depending on its severity, type 2 diabetes can be managed through diet and physical activity, oral medications, or insulin injections, though a combination of these therapies are often prescribed. Self-monitoring of your blood glucose can help measure the success of your therapy.

1 Dept of Health and Ageing. Diabetes data and trends, May 2008. Available at: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/pq-diabetes-stats Accessed April 09, 2009
2 American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2008 [position statement]. Diabetes Care. 2007; 31:S12-S54. Available at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/31/Supplement_1/S12 (accessed January 24, 2008).

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Are you ready to pump?

Adults and children alike are realizing the benefits of insulin pump therapy. Use this interactive tool to discover what pump therapy can do for you.

This website contains information on products which are targeted to a wide range of audiences and could contain product details or information otherwise not accessible or valid in your country. Please be aware that we do not take any responsibility for accessing such information which may not comply with any valid legal process, regulation, registration or usage in the country of your origin. For people with diabetes. Use only as directed. See your healthcare professional for medical advice.