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What is Diabetes? - Diabetes Australia
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What is Diabetes?

Most young people have heard of the term diabetes but in some cases, don’t know all the facts. So if you, or someone you know has diabetes, or if you just want to know more about it, you have come to the right place.

Diabetes is caused by having too much sugar – also called glucose - in your bloodstream that can lead to some serious health conditions.  It is classified as a chronic disease which means that it lasts for a long time, often for someone’s whole life. 

For our bodies to work properly, our cells need to convert glucose (sugar) from the food we eat into energy. In healthy people, a hormone called insulin is produced by the pancreas which is essential for regulating blood glucose levels. In people with diabetes, the body no longer makes insulin or does not make it in sufficient amounts.

 Here's what happens:

Your body makes a sugar called glucose for its energy source

Source = carbohydrates

Found in: potatoes, corn, bread,
pasta, rice, fruit and milk

Glucose is carried around your body in the blood

Glucose goes into body tissues
to fuel the different cells

Glucose is stored in your liver


Insulin is used to transfer glucose from the blood to the body cells

Insulin = hormone made by the

Process is called glucose metabolism

Diabetes = when pancreas can't make any or makes insufficient insulin

No insulin = no glucose transferred to body cells

Glucose builds up in blood leading to high blood glucose levels and health problems
















For more information on diabetes view our FAQs or visit the Diabetes Australia website.