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FAQs - Diabetes Australia
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Are there different types of diabetes?

Yes. There are three main types of diabetes – type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes which affects some pregnant women. There is also a condition known as pre-diabetes. More information on pre-diabetes can be found on the Diabetes Australia website.

What are the main symptoms of diabetes?

In type 1 diabetes, symptoms are often sudden and can be life-threatening, therefore it is usally diagnosed quite quickly. In type 2 diabetes, many people have no symptoms at all, while other signs can go unnoticed. It can therefore take much longer before type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.
Symptoms people with diabetes might experience (some might occur suddenly):
  • Being thirstier than usual
  • Needing to pee more
  • Feeling tired and having no energy 
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Having cuts that heal slowly 
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision 
  • Losing weight for no reason (type 1)
  • Gradually putting on weight (type 2) 
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches 
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Leg cramps

But having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t mean that diabetes is necessarily the cause. However if you experience any of these symptoms, go see your doctor so they can check you out.

How is diabetes managed?

Whether you have type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, the aim of any diabetes treatment is to get blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as often as possible:
  • For type 1 diabetes, insulin injections are needed every day plus a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
  • For type 2 diabetes, initially a healthy diet and regular physical activity may be all that’s needed , but eventually some people need tablets and/or insulin later on.
  • For gestational diabetes, initially healthy eating, physical activity and monitoring and maintaining a normal blood glucose level. If this doesn't work, insulin injections will be necessary for the rest of the pregnancy.

Is there a cure for diabetes?

At the moment there is no cure for diabetes. However, there is a huge amount of research being done in Australia and overseas. You never know, at some time, in the not too distant future, there may be some good news about this. Stay tuned …

Can you catch diabetes?

No, you cannot catch diabetes from a person or from the environment as it is not contagious.

Who will help me if I have diabetes?

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you don’t need to face it alone. Along with the support of family and friends, you will also have the support of a team of health professionals to help you manage your diabetes. While you are the most important member of your diabetes team, team members are generally your doctor, a Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), a dietitian and a podiatrist (foot specialist). Team members may also include other medical specialists to provide medical, lifestyle and emotional help and support when you need it.

Organisations such as Diabetes Australia are also here to help and support people with diabetes. You can become a member of your state or territory Diabetes Australia organisation and receive membership benefits.

You can also register with the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) for free. Registration only has to be done once and you get access to cheap products and free services if you are diagnosed with diabetes.

How can I look after my own diabetes?

There are many steps you can take:
  • Find the diabetes team members in your area. Your doctor may need to refer you, but this is not always necessary.
  • Test your blood glucose levels regularly.
  • Always take your insulin (if you need insulin).
  • If your doctor gives you tablets to help manage your diabetes, blood pressure and/or cholesterol, make sure you take them.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Have a healthy eating plan.
  • Stay positive.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help whenever you feel you need it.

Where can I get more information on diabetes?

The Diabetes Australia website provides more information on diabetes.

What is the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)?

The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is an initiative of the Australian Government administered by Diabetes Australia. The NDSS delivers diabetes-related products at subsidised prices and provides information and support services to people with diabetes. Registration is free and open to all Australians diagnosed with diabetes.