What we’re doing about diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition that is common in Australia and around the world. It is a serious condition that can affect quality of life. Find out what we’re doing to help Australians living with diabetes.

What is diabetes?

For our bodies to work, we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. People with diabetes can’t convert sugar to energy efficiently. This leads to high levels of sugar in the blood, called hyperglycaemia.

Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, controls our blood sugar levels. Diabetes occurs when your pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or your body becomes resistant to insulin.

There are different types of diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease where the body's immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and require lifelong insulin replacement to survive. The disease can occur at any age, although it mostly occurs in children and young adults.

Type 2 diabetes is associated with hereditary factors and lifestyle risk factors. These include poor diet, not getting enough physical activity, and being overweight or obese. People with type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their condition through lifestyle changes. However, they may also need diabetes medications or insulin replacement to control blood sugar levels.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and usually disappears after the baby’s birth. Women who had gestational diabetes while pregnant are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later.

See healthdirect for more information about diabetes.

What are we doing about diabetes?

We are addressing diabetes nationally. Several programs and initiatives help treat or manage diabetes-related problems. We fund research into diabetes, and maintain national monitoring and surveillance.

See more chronic conditions resources.

The Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (AUSDRISK)

You can use the AUSDRISK tool to estimate your risk of getting type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years.

State and territory contacts

For more information about your local service, visit your state or territory website.

Diabetes NSW & ACT

Contact information for Diabetes NSW & ACT. Call them Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

customerservice [at] diabetesnsw.com.au

View contact

Diabetes Victoria

Contact information for Diabetes Victoria. Contact them for help, advice and support.

mail [at] diabetesvic.org.au

View contact

Diabetes Queensland

Contact information for Diabetes Queensland. Call them Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

info [at] diabetesqld.org.au

View contact

Diabetes WA

Contact information for Diabetes WA. Call them Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.

info [at] diabeteswa.com.au

View contact

Diabetes SA

Contact information for Diabetes SA. Email your questions, or call them Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm for phone support or to book a consultation.

info [at] diabetessa.com.au

View contact

Diabetes Tasmania

Contact information for Diabetes Tasmania. Call them Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

mail [at] diabetestas.org.au

View contact

Healthy Living NT

Contact information for Healthy Living NT heart and diabetes health. Healthy Living NT is the Northern Territory agent for the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS). Call from Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.

info [at] healthylivingnt.org.au

View contact

Last updated: 
25 February 2021

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