Information about diabetes at school
Diabetes is a condition in which there is too much sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body and comes from the carbohydrate foods we eat.
The body breaks carbohydrates down to glucose which then enter the blood stream. For glucose to enter the cells and be used for energy, a hormone called insulin must be available.
Diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or the insulin it makes doesn't work properly to control the (sugar) glucose level in the blood. This leads to increased blood glucose levels and diabetes.
There are two main types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes usually affects children and adolescents. It occurs when the body no longer produces the insulin needed so lifelong daily insulin injections or insulin by insulin pump are required, as well as blood glucose monitoring, regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan.
Type 1 diabetes is not caused by lifestyle factors. Type 1 diabetes is increasing in prevalence by about 3% per year among children less than 15 years of age in NSW. Source: Diabetes Facts 2009 Australian Diabetes Council.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 is more likely to affect adults, however, recent evidence shows that type 2 diabetes is increasing in children and adolescents. It occurs when the body is not producing enough insulin or the insulin is not working properly. Physical activity, healthy eating, blood glucose monitoring and sometimes medications and/or insulin are needed to keep blood glucose levels in the ideal range.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with lifestyle factors such as overweight, obesity as well as family history and cultural background.
Acknowledgement: These materials have been put together with assistance from Australian Diabetes Council.