Wellness Embodied Blog

Diabetes is a serious, chronic metabolic condition that results in abnormally high blood sugar. For our bodies to work properly, we need to convert glucose (sugar) from food into energy. Insulin is the essential hormone in our bodies that controls this process. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and allows the glucose we get from food, to be absorbed from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. In someone with diabetes, this process can’t occur and instead of being absorbed, the glucose from food stays in the bloodstream, resulting in abnormally high blood glucose levels. There are a few types of diabetes, which we explore more below.

Type 1 Diabetes

In some cases, the body does not produce enough insulin and glucose is unable to be converted into energy. This is known as Type 1 diabetes and it represents around 10% of all cases of diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes must make up for the insulin the body cannot produce, by injecting themselves with insulin or using an insulin pump. Type 1 diabetes has a strong family connection and cannot be prevented.

Type 2 Diabetes

This is when the body either fails to produce enough insulin, or is unable to use that insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes accounts for between 85-90% of all diabetes cases. It usually develops in adults over the age of 45, but is becoming increasingly common in children, adolescents and young adults. Type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with modifiable lifestyle risk factors such as diet, physical activity, high blood pressure and being overweight.

Gestational Diabetes

A third type of diabetes, known as gestational diabetes, can occur during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. It is becoming increasingly common and the latest data shows that between 12% and 14% of pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes. It usually occurs around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?

The most common symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Lack of energy and fatigue
  • Bacterial and fungal infections
  • Delayed wound healing.
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or feet or with blurred vision.
  • Can have modest hyperglycemia, which can proceed to severe hyperglycemia or ketoacidosis due to infection or stress. T1DM patients can often present with ketoacidosis (DKA) coma as the first manifestation in about 30% of patients[3].
  • Persons with DM (usually Type 1) may experience weight loss because of the improper fat metabolism and breakdown of fat stores.
  • Physiotherapy Can Help You

    A sound, individually tailored exercise prescription is a cornerstone in the management of Diabetes Mellitus. Research shows a really interesting relationship between exercise and diabetes. For a person with diabetes, exercise helps:

    • Insulin to work better, which will improve your diabetes management
    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Lower your blood pressure
    • Reduce your risk of heart disease
    • Reduce stress

    However, you should keep in mind that all physical activity you do must be supervised and planned to mitigate risks. For this, having your Cairns physiotherapist with you is a great idea! Our physiotherapists at Wellness Embodied are trained to help you plan your exercise routine, as well as supervise and adapt it to your goals.

    So, if you plan to start a new physical activity, let us help you! If you wish to book an appointment with us, call 07 4231 9777 or book online

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