Diabetes – What you need to know

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease. It can affect your whole body, if undetected or poorly controlled, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation, heart attack, stroke, impotence and potentially cancer as high blood sugar stimulates tumour growth

When you eat a high starch/high carbohydrate food (sugar, sweets, sugary drinks, juice, cereal, bread including wholemeal and wholegrain, pasta, rice, milk, yoghurt, fruit, starchy vegetables like potatoes, legumes etc), and as you digest the carbohydrate, it becomes glucose (sugar) in the blood. A 200g serving of pasta will release 150g of glucose into the bloodstream.

It is essential that you don’t have too much glucose in your blood for any length of time because glucose acts like sandpaper, damaging your blood vessels, arteries and nerves. When your body detects glucose in the blood, your pancreas produces insulin to take the glucose from the blood and use it for energy in our cells, it is stored in your liver and muscles as ready energy but if your stores are full, it converts into fat.
Yes, that is right; high starch/high carbohydrate foods (eg grains/sweets) are broken down in the body into long chain triglycerides (driving weight gain and heart disease).
    Rebecca and Fiona – Our Nutritionists

    Type 2 diabetes IS PREVENTABLE. It is a disease largely of diet and lifestyle, if not managed well you will end up on medications and eventually insulin injections. We hear many people say, “I have diabetes, but not the bad kind”. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there is no “good kind” of diabetes, just different levels of severity based on how advanced the disease is. To put it bluntly diabetes is a chronic progressive disease that will continue to get worse without good management, so you can’t afford to ignore it.

    Pre-diabetes: suggests that your pancreas may have started under producing insulin and you may be developing insulin resistance.

    Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes is a warning sign; YOU WILL DEVELOP DIABETES IF YOU DON’T TAKE ACTION NOW! It presents you with an opportunity to make diet and lifestyle changes to prevent type 2 diabetes.

    What should you eat?


    “Few foods produce as much as a surge of blood glucose as those made with wheat”

    David Perlmutter, MD, Neurologist

    What is the link between Type 1 Diabetes and Coeliac Disease?

    Studies have linked Type 1 Diabetes and later Coeliac Disease diagnosis. In one study “celiac disease was diagnosed in 218 of 546 (40%) subjects within 1 year, in 55% within 2 years, and in 79% within 5 years of diabetes duration”.

    “The authors concluded that because most cases of coeliac disease are diagnosed within 5 years of type 1 diabetes diagnosis, screening should be considered at type 1 diabetes diagnosis and within 2 and 5 years thereafter”. “The researchers stated that it was also notable that 85% of cases in the review presented asymptomatically.”

    The symptoms of coeliac disease in people with type 1 diabetes can vary. They often go completely unnoticed until a gluten-free diet is started.

    Here is a link to the 2015 article in Pediatrics reviewing the study: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2015/06/09/peds.2014-2883.abstract