Diabetes in Australia: Here’s the Facts

Diabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal. Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is a person’s main source of energy and is attained from the food that we eat. A hormone made by the pancreas, called insulin, aids the glucose from food in getting into your cells so it can be used as energy. There are two different types of Diabetes, Type I and II.

Type I Diabetes

Type I Diabetes is the more naturally occurring diabetes, where a person’s pancreas produces little or no insulin. A person is born with this kind of diabetes and it does not develop as a result of any other factors.

Type II Diabetes

Type II Diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes and results from sugar (glucose) levels building up in a person’s system. This kind of diabetes develops over time and can result from poor eating and lifestyle habits. Diabetes is a serious disease and can cause a tremendous amount of pain and suffering if not treated properly.

Diabetes Medication

Diabetes and Australians

In Australia, an estimated 1.7 million people have diabetes; 280 Australians develop diabetes per day, which equals one person every five minutes. Type I Diabetes is normally diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, although it can also occur later on in life. Those who are diagnosed with Type I Diabetes need to use insulin to manage their glucose levels and live a normal life. In 2017, there were approximately 2,742 people that were diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in Australia. About 61% of those people diagnosed were under the age of 25, which is no surprise since this type of diabetes mostly occurs very young in life. The peak age of diagnoses was from 10-14. Diabetes was found more commonly in males than in females but was associated with people of every socioeconomic status.

Insulin resistance

Tens of thousands of people begin using insulin every year to manage their diabetes. Insulin problems can also develop in a person. Insulin resistance is a serious problem. This problem increases the risk of Type II Diabetes and other serious health problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. Insulin resistance starts occurring when cells in your body start resisting signals from insulin. Glucose is the body’s main source of energy. Once resistance to insulin develops, a person’s body will start to make more and more of it. This becomes very harmful to a person’s pancreas, wearing it out. Over time, this results in Type II Diabetes.

Spotting the signs

There are many signs to look out for to spot insulin resistance such as a large waist, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, dark skin patches, and so on. Being overweight, eating more than you should, smoking, and lack of exercise can all contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin shock is a second insulin related problem that can develop in a person. Having too much insulin means there is not enough glucose. When a person’s blood sugar falls too low, there is no fuel left for your body left to function. Once this happens, it results in insulin shock, and your body begins to shut down.

Insulin shock

This is another serious problem that is attributed to glucose levels and insulin. Insulin shock can occur from too much insulin, alcohol consumption, not eating enough, skipping meals, and so on. Insulin shock can lead to a coma or death.

Monitoring glucose

There are a number of ways that people can monitor their glucose and diabetes. Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose is a way that people can test their blood sugar using a glycemic reader. Based on the numbers on the reader, that person can change their regime to try and help those numbers. Factors such as diet, exercise, insulin intake, and stress management all are helpful in diabetes monitoring. People with both Type I and Type II diabetes can monitor their blood glucose in this way. If you have Type II Diabetes, this number can be especially crucial because there is a possibility of lowering your numbers and your A1C, which is an average of your blood sugar for the last few months. Eating healthy and exercise are important factors in helping to keep blood sugar levels constant and normal.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diabetes is a serious condition that can be maintained with proper medical care, as well as proper care of yourself. With medications and simple lifestyle changes, a person can effectively live with diabetes, and even lessen the adverse effects of this disease. It is possible to lower glucose and A1C levels and live a healthy and normal life.

Jayden Burke

Psychiatrist at Sydney Day Hospital
Dr. Jayden Burke is one of a few medicinal experts, where he deals with a functioning practice in SDH's Essential Consideration Center and co-directs the Multidisciplinary Depression Treatment Group at SDH. He earned his therapeutic degree from the College of Missouri Institute of Medication in Columbia, Missouri, where he additionally finished his residency in family prescription. He earned his four year college education from Truman State College in Kirkistown, Kansas.
Jayden Burke