Diabetes is a chronic disease... This means it can last for a long time, often for someone's entire 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.
Diabetics require constant medication in the form of tablets taken by mouth or injections which contain insulin depending on the "type" of diabetes they have.
The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) is an initiative of the Australian Government administered by Diabetes Australia.
Through the administration of the NDSS, Diabetes Australia provides practical assistance, information and subsidised products to nearly 1,000,000 Australians diagnosed with diabetes.
To register with the NDSS, applicants must be diagnosed with diabetes and hold or be eligible to hold a Medicare card and live in Australia.
Sometimes visitors to Australia may be eligible through a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with their home country. Registration is free.
People who are registered with the NDSS can access a range of subsidised Government approved products including:
- Subsidised testing strips for checking blood glucose levels
- Free insulin syringes and pen-needles (if you require insulin)
- Subsidised insulin pump consumables (IPCs)
- Information services on managing life with diabetes.