Diabetes is a condition that causes high levels of sugar in the blood stream. It is caused by problems with the hormone “insulin” which is produced by the pancreas. There are two types: non-insulin diabetes, which is treated by weight reduction, diet and use of drugs to increase insulin in your body; and insulin dependant diabetes, which is treated with insulin.
I’m Too Young To Worry About Diabetes!
You are more likely to get diabetes in later years if you:
spend your teenage years eating junk food;
drink too much alcohol;
if you’re overweight; and,
if other family members have diabetes.
Will I Grow Two Heads If I Get Diabetes?
NO. Your symptoms will vary. You will feel tired, weak, sleepy and grumpy. Your sores won’t heal and you’ll feel itchy and may visit the toilet a lot. You may also get boils and skin infections as well as blurred vision. Girls may get thrush.
I Feel Tired And Grumpy – How Do I Know If I’ve Got Diabetes?
Diabetes is usually detected from a blood sample. No two-foot needles are required, just a simple pin prick on your finger. It is recommended that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people over the age of 15 be tested once a year. So when was the last time you were pricked??? See your local Aboriginal Health Worker for further information.
You Don’t Get Diabetes When You’re Pregnant?
WRONG. Diabetes in pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. Some women have high blood sugars in pregnancy which may be diagnosed by oral glucose tolerance test between 26-30 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes may cause a baby to grow too big, so when you’re in labor you may have trouble. Also recent research suggests that women who do not manage their diabetes during pregnancy increase the chances of their baby getting diabetes later on. This is why it is very important to diagnose and treat diabetes.
Why Should I Worry About Diabetes?
If you think that you are resilient and can’t be touched, be warned – current statistics indicate that it is estimated between 4.5% to 19%, and even in some communities 40%, of Aboriginal people have non-insulin dependant diabetes.