Diabetes is an increasingly common medical problem that you may have heard about or you may know someone who has it. So, it’s worth looking at to understand what it is and why you can get it.
Firstly, it’s important to know there are 2 types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes cannot be cured or prevented and is not caused by modifiable lifestyle factors.
Types 2 diabetes, which accounts for 85-90 percent of diabetes cases, is quite different in that it is associated lifestyle choices that can be modified. Type 2 Diabetes is disease where the body is either unable to produce enough insulin or is unable to use it effectively. This results in hyperglycaemia, or high blood sugar. Insulin is a hormone that is released into the blood stream from the pancreas after eating, and transports sugar from the food you have eaten into your cells to be used as energy.
Although there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, it is possible for some people to reverse it. It can be managed through a combination of regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction enabling you to improve your normal blood sugar levels and offset the need for medication.
However, if unmanaged, Type 2 Diabetes can have serious short- and long-term health complications, such as weight gain, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetic related blindness, and peripheral neuropathy.
The good news is that by adjusting the foods we eat and amount of exercise we do, Diabetes type 2 can be managed effectively in many cases. People with type 2 diabetes who engage in regular and consistent exercise, can experience improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, improved strength, and lower their risk of cardiac disease.
The World Health organization recommends people with type 2 diabetes complete aerobic exercise at least 3-5 days per week, and strength training at least 2 times per week at a moderate intensity for 30 – 60 minutes per day.
There are some risks associated with exercise for Diabetics, and it is recommended that before you start any exercise routine, you should consult a health professional; GP, Diabetes Educator or Exercise Physiologist can all guide you.
Diabetes NSW run a program READY SET GO LETS MOVE where you can learn about the positive effects exercise can have on blood glucose levels, and help you to become more active by identifying what may be stopping you from being active as well as help you develop your own step-by-step plan.
If you wish to know more, you can look up: Diabetes Australia https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/ and
Diabetes NSW for the Ready Set Go program https://diabetesnsw.com.au/