Diabetes is a metabolic condition that arises when our cells are unable to utilise or store basic nutrients such as glucose, amino acids and fatty acids, obtained from digestion of complex food substances ingested with each meal.

Instead, these nutrients are allowed to circulate in our blood at elevated levels and can cause damage to our blood vessels and nerve fibres in the long term. Almost all our vital organs comprise of varying combinations of nerves and blood vessels, such as eyes, heart, brain, kidneys, feet, sex organs, etc, so these organs are primarily affected in individuals with poor diabetes control.

The primary organs causing diabetes are the pancreas, in which the islet cells which produce insulin are defective, but at the same time, our liver, muscle and fat are less likely to take up glucose, fatty acids and amino acids, even in the presence of insulin. This defect is what we call “insulin resistance”.

Therefore Type 2 Diabetes is a combination of insulin deficiency and insulin resistance. There are many causes. These include lifestyle factors such as poor diet, obesity, inactivity, severe illness, certain medications, excessive alcohol and genetic predisposition. You can do much to modify your risk profile by looking after your health and observing certain lifestyle changes.

If you have diabetes or have a relative or friend with diabetes, I would refer you to Diabetes Australia for more information.