Approximately one million people in Australia are reported to have diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic medical condition where there is excessive glucose in the bloodstream due to the body’s inability to produce or use insulin properly.
Diabetes can be classified into three types: Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational diabetes. Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes is the most common, accounting for at least 85% of all diabetes. This occurs when the body is able to produce insulin, but cannot use if effectively. Type 2 Diabetes can often be controlled through diet and exercise alone, although it sometimes requires medication and/or injections of insulin.
Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the body does not produce adequate insulin. Normally, insulin is released from the pancreas in response to the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood increasing, such as after eating. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscles to take in excess glucose from the blood. This results in a lowering of the blood sugar level. When exercising, the body needs extra energy or fuel (in the form of glucose) for the muscles. With continued moderate exercising, your muscles take up glucose at up to 20 times the normal rate.
This is why exercise is strongly advocated for all patients with diabetes, provided their blood glucose is controlled. Doing 30minutes or more daily of moderate exercise can help improve glycaemic control and reduce body fat.
People who have been diagnosed with Diabetes should work with their physiotherapist, exercise physiologist and dietician to develop individual strategies on how to become active, exercise safely and manage their diet.
If you suspect you may be at risk of diabetes you should see your local doctor. Indicators are increased thirst and passing more urine, feeling tired and lethargic, skin infection, blurred vision, nausea and mood swings.