Diabetes: the statistics
According to Diabetes Australia, there are1:
- Around 1.7 million Australians diagnosed with diabetes
- 1.2 million known and registered with diabetes
- Up to 500,000 undiagnosed people with Type 2 diabetes (estimated).
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It requires full-time management from the patient and regular care and attention from healthcare providers like yourself. At Medtronic, we’re committed to innovation by pushing the boundaries of medical technology and changing the way the world treats chronic disease. This way, we not only help those with diabetes, but also support you in providing effective therapies and services.
According to Diabetes Australia, there are1:
The term diabetes mellitus applies to several disease states. Hyperglycaemia, high blood glucose, is the main symptom of all types of diabetes. However, its cause differs, depending on the type of diabetes that the patient has been diagnosed with. Therefore, the most current classification system organises the types of diabetes according to the various causes.
The exact cause of diabetes is unknown, although both genetic and environmental factors, as well as lifestyle issues (for example, obesity and lack of exercise) appear to play roles. There are two major types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack and destroy the insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas. It is a chronic, lifelong disorder with no known cure. The onset of the symptoms often appears to be abrupt, however, research studies2 show that the autoimmune pathologic process actually begins years before the physical signs and symptoms suddenly become evident. Some of the most obvious and common symptoms at onset include increased thirst, increased hunger, frequent urination, and weight loss.
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), in Australia, Type 1 diabetes accounts for around 95% of the diabetes found in children3.
Some of the common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes are:
Women with Type 1 diabetes may also stop menstruating. These signs and symptoms manifest suddenly and severely upon onset.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 85% of the diabetes population.1 While its exact cause is not known, patients with Type 2 diabetes do not suffer from the autoimmune destruction of beta cells. Although it’s a progressive disease, most patients continue to produce insulin for a long time after diagnosis. Many continue to produce insulin throughout their lives and may need external insulin only at a later stage.
Type 2 diabetes patients see many harmless symptoms initially, which takes longer to diagnose. Symptoms of hyperglycaemia are similar to that of Type 1 diabetes:
Other problems may occur at a later stage, including low healing process or tingling and numbness in the hands or feet. Men with Type 2 diabetes may also experience erectile dysfunction.
There are many factors that may increase the risk of developing either type of diabetes. These include:
There are several ways you can help patients manage their glucose levels.
Diet and exercise: This is particularly useful for patients with Type 2 diabetes. You could consider prescribing a diet and exercise regime, which, along with nutrition counselling and behaviour modification with a diabetes educator or dietician, will go a long way to helping patients keep their glucose level under control.
Oral therapy: If diet and exercise are insufficient, oral medications can be prescribed.
Multiple Daily Injections (MDI): Technically defined as the administration of three or more injections of insulin a day, the MDI regimen consists of a minimum of four injections per day.
Insulin Pump Therapy: This therapy mimics the functions of a normal pancreas more closely and replaces the need for frequent injections by delivering precise doses of rapid-acting insulin.
1. Diabetes Australia website https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/diabetes-in-australia
2. American Diabetes Association. (1998). Medical Management of Type 1 Diabetes Vol 1 (3rd ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: Author
4. International Diabetes Federation. (2009). Facts & Figures. Retrieved on July 17, 2009, from www.idf.org
5. Centers for Disease Control. (2007). National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Retrieved on July 17, 2009, from www.cdc.gov