What is Diabetes? - Living With Diabetes | Diabetes Qualified

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What is Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar known as glucose. For your body to work properly, you need to maintain a healthy level of glucose in your blood. Glucose is your body’s main source of energy. It comes from the carbohydrate foods you eat, such as bread, pasta, rice, cereals, fruits, starchy vegetables, milk and yoghurt. When you eat these foods, your blood stream carries the glucose around your body, where your cells convert it into energy. To break down the glucose so it can enter your cells, your body needs insulin, a hormone produced in your pancreas. If you have diabetes, it means your pancreas makes too little insulin, or none at all. The glucose you eat will stay in your blood instead of being turned into energy. High levels of glucose in your blood can have short- and long-term effects on your body, possibly causing damage to your heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and feet.

Online learning programs to support people living with diabetes 

Type 2 Diabetes and Me online learning program

The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) has developed a free online course to help people learn more about living with diabetes, show them where to go for support and provide links to additional information and resources. Participants can click here to start learning today


Do you support people with diabetes who are using or transitioning to insulin? Living with Insulin is an online learning hub to help them become more confident in using insulin. 10 short interactive modules covering a range of important topics are available. No logins or downloads are required, so anyone with a computer or mobile device with internet can get started straight away.

Refer the people you see to start learning online today!  Click here to access the education 

Carb counting online

Carbohydrate counting (carb counting) is an important skill for all people with type 1 diabetes to learn. Carbohydrate recognition and carbohydrate counting are also used to varying degrees for the management of type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

The NDSS has just released a digital online education resource for carb counting which you can find on their website here.

This program will provide online teaching for carbohydrate awareness and provide basic carbohydrate counting skills that can be viewed as needed, to support education from health professionals. There are modules that will not only assist individuals with type 1 diabetes and their carers, but also those with type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes

They can learn at their own pace, and access the topics as they need them. The modules don’t have to be completed in order, or in one sitting – come back to the website as many times as required.

Ready Set Go Online

The NDSS Ready Set Go – Let’s Move program is available as a free online learning program. In this program, people will learn about the benefits of moving more, create a plan to get started, and where to get support if they need it. Packed with helpful resources and videos, this program contains four interactive modules. The program can be completed in about 2 hours on a laptop, tablet or desktop computer.

Participants can sign-up for the online program to start reaching their physical activity goals click here

To find out more about the management, detection and prevention of diabetes and for ongoing support for people living with diabetes, their families and carers, visit your relevant state or territory organisation below.


Diabetes NSW & ACT

Diabetes Queensland


Diabetes Victoria



Diabetes WA

Diabetes Tasmania




Diabetes friendly meal program

Diabetes NSW & ACT has partnered with the CSIRO to give people options when it comes to choosing a diabetes friendly meal program that’s right for them. With the help of the dietary guidelines and support offered within the program people can reach their weight loss goals, maintain long term healthy eating habits and live a long and healthy life. The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet offers a special edition of the 12 Week Program for people living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Click here to find out more



Looking after a child with diabetes

A course for family, friends, babysitters and nannies who are responsible for looking after a child with type 1 diabetes.