What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition.  This means that it lasts for a long time, often for someone's whole life.

For our bodies to work properly we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. A hormone called insulin is essential for the conversion of glucose into energy.

In people with diabetes, insulin is no longer produced or not produced in sufficient amounts by the body.

So when people with diabetes eat glucose, which is in foods such as breads, cereals, fruit and starchy vegetables, legumes, milk, yoghurt and sweets, it can’t be converted into energy.  Instead of being turned into energy the glucose stays in the blood. This is why blood glucose levels are higher in people with diabetes.

Glucose is carried around your body in your blood. Your blood glucose level is called glycaemia.

In this Section

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes
Other Types of Diabetes
Hypoglycaemia
Hyperglycaemia
Ketoacidosis