Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar known as glucose. For your body to work properly, you need to maintain a healthy level of glucose in your blood. Glucose is your body’s main source of energy. It comes from the carbohydrate foods you eat, such as bread, pasta, rice, cereals, fruits, starchy vegetables, milk and yoghurt. When you eat these foods, your blood stream carries the glucose around your body, where your cells convert it into energy. To break down the glucose so it can enter your cells, your body needs insulin, a hormone produced in your pancreas. If you have diabetes, it means your pancreas makes too little insulin, or none at all. The glucose you eat will stay in your blood instead of being turned into energy. High levels of glucose in your blood can have short- and long-term effects on your body, possibly causing damage to your heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and feet.
To find out more about the management, detection and prevention of diabetes and for ongoing support for people living with diabetes, their families and carers, visit your relevant state or territory organisation website below.