Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting people of all ages and walks of life. Exercise plays an important role in diabetes. Physiotherapists are experts in exercise prescription for people with chronic illnesses and are therefore able to provide advice on physical activity and promote self management practices. Physiotherapists also assist with the management of complications associated with diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to automatically regulate blood glucose levels, resulting in too much glucose (a sugar) in the blood.
Type 1 diabetes: Occurs when the pancreas cannot produce insulin because the cells that actually make the insulin have been destroyed by the body’s own immune system. This type of diabetes was formerly known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes (or juvenile diabetes).
Type 2 diabetes: Unlike those with Type 1, people with Type 2 diabetes are always insulin resistant. This means that their pancreas is making insulin but the insulin is not working as well as it should, so it must make more. This type of diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin dependent diabetes (or mature-age onset diabetes).
Are you at risk of developing Diabetes?
Risk factors include less than 2.5hr of physical activity per week, increased weight and waist circumference, high blood pressure, smoking and a diet lacking in fruit and vegetables.
Check out this Quiz to see if you are at risk – you may be surprised!
Physiotherapists have an essential role in all aspects of diabetes management, from prevention to rehabilitation following complications. Increasingly Physiotherapists are becoming involved in diabetes prevention programs and providing services to at risk individuals also. The Physiotherapists at Lifestyle and Sports Physiotherapy are well placed to advise you on exercise strategies that will work for you.
For more information about diabetes, visit the Diabetes Australia website or contact us on (02) 4647 3373 to make an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists.