It is Diabetes Week, but what is diabetes? One of our Physiotherapist provides the basics about this disease that is already a big issue in Penrith, Jordan Springs and Caringbah communities – and it’s incidence is increasing. Did you know that for those suffering from Type 2 diabetes – regular exercise can help to keep it under control?.
What Is Diabetes?
People with diabetes do not have the ability to make enough, or any insulin within their bodies. This becomes a problem as insulin is the hormone that allows glucose to enter the cells from the blood stream. Glucose is the main source of energy for our bodies and it is transported by the blood to all parts of the body. For us to function we require a certain level of glucose to be transported to our cells. If the pancreas does not produce the insulin required, the glucose will remain in the blood stream and have both short term and long term damage to the body. The damage can impact organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and feet.
You may have heard of diabetes type 1 and type 2.
- Type 1 diabetes represents about 10% of all cases, it is an autoimmune condition which results in the destruction of cells within the pancreas that produce insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes represents up to 90% of all cases and it is associated with many modifiable lifestyle factors. These factors affect the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, or the insulin produced does not work effectively upon the cells throughout the body.
How Can We Help?
If you are at risk or already have type 2 diabetes, regular exercise can be beneficial in keeping it under control. Exercise can help by allowing the insulin to work better, maintain a healthy weight and reduce blood pressure.
A combination of low intensity aerobic exercise and strength training has been shown to be most helpful in controlling one’s blood glucose.
As a general rule, it is important to gradually ease into the exercise to avoid becoming sore or causing an injury. You should not take part in exercise if you are feeling unwell and if you are a diabetic it is important to monitor your blood glucose levels before, during and after the bout of exercise.
Before getting started, come in to see a friendly physiotherapist at The Healthy Body Company for an assessment and tailor made exercise program that incorporates everything you need to keep your diabetes under control or prevent it altogether.