Diabetes is one of the most common conditions impacting the daily lives of Australians. There are three main types of diabetes - Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes. There are a number of predisposing factors which impact an individuals likelihood of developing diabetes, some being manageable and some hereditary. To best understand how we can improve our management of these conditions we must first understand the impact diabetes has on our bodies.
Diabetes itself isn’t a deadly condition, however diabetes does exist as part of the ‘big three’ that greatly increase your risk of suffering a heart attack. These three are hypertension (or high blood pressure), high cholesterol and diabetes. Collectively these three conditions negatively impact the flow of blood around your body, thereby increasing the risk of the development of a clot and therefore a heart attack.
Diabetes is characterised by consistently high blood sugar levels without the aid of medication. This can be caused by either hypersensitivity to glucose or from insufficient or underactive hormones/hormone secretion. These consistently high blood sugar levels cause an imbalance in the body’s natural equilibrium, known as homeostasis. The homeostatic level is where your body optimally operates. These heightened blood sugar levels create extra work for the kidneys, which try to process the additional sugar out of the blood, thus allowing your body to return to its normal range.
Over time this additional stress on the body increases the likelihood of individuals with poorly managed diabetes to develop serious complications such as kidney failure or blindness. It also significantly increases the likelihood of a stroke or heart attack, along with many other risk factors. Diabetes is a serious condition that should be managed consistenly and effectively. Although the implications are frightening, there are many ways you can minimise your risk factors through your own independent management and lifestyle.
Exercise and diet are of paramount importance when it comes to the management of all forms of diabetes. Exercise:
reduces blood pressure,
improves heart and lung function,
improves insulin sensitivity and
helps manage the progression of diabetes, along with many other co-morbidities.
Improving your diet will help:
reduce and control your blood sugar levels,
better manage the highs and lows that can come with diabetes and also
help prevent the progression of the disease along with other potential co-morbidities.
Diabetes is a complex condition and should be managed daily. If you have any issues with your diabetes management or want help with managing hypo/hypers you can speak with one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists or our Dietician for more assistance on 07 5456 1599.