Diabetes Basics

There are broadly two types of diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.


Diabetes (or diabetes mellitus) is a chronic metabolic disorder caused by an absolute or relative insulin deficiency that leads to abnormally elevated blood sugar (glucose) levels termed as hyperglycaemia. Insulin is the hormone produced by a special type of cells known as β-cells in the pancreas that enables blood sugar to enter cells and be converted into energy.

Devastating complications of diabetes


Diabetes mellitus may develop after 10-30 years of diagnosis. Many devastating complications include heart and kidney failures, blindness, foot amputations and even cancers (see below), because chronic high blood sugar levels damage capillaries and small blood vessels in multiple organs. Additionally, the life expectancy of people with Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes shortens 20 and 10 years respectively, in addition to the quality of life being significantly reduced.

Whilst Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are similar, there are differences, which are explained in the Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes pages.


[1] Gottlieb P, Eisenbarth G & Skyler J. Immunopathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes: Approaches to Prevention and Cure. Accessed www.docstoc.com/docs/525462

[2] Insight Pharma. Global diabetes market and pipeline 2009. 2010.

[3] International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas Fifth Edition Update (2012). 2012

[4] International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas Fifth Edition (2011). 2011. http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/5e

[5] Frost & Sullivan. Global Diabetes Market. 2010.

Nedlands, WA

Australia 6009


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