Physiotherapists are experts in exercise prescription for people with chronic illnesses and are therefore able to provide advice on physical activity and promote self management practices. Physiotherapists also assist with the management of complications associated with diabetes.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting people of all ages and walks of life. It imposes a significant burden on the Australian community. The disease can cause a number of long term complications, resulting in disability, reduced quality of life, and premature death. Exercise plays an important role in diabetes. Physiotherapists are experts in exercise prescription for people with chronic illnesses and are therefore able to provide advice on physical activity and promote self management practices. Physiotherapists also assist with the management of complications associated with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to automatically regulate blood glucose levels, resulting in too much glucose (a sugar) in the blood.
Type 1 diabetes
This occurs when the pancreas cannot produce insulin because the cells that should make it have been destroyed by the body’s own immune system. This type of diabetes was formerly known as Insulin Dependant Diabetes (or juvenile diabetes).
Unlike those with Type 1 diabetes, people with Type 2 diabetes are always insulin resistant. This means that their pancreas is making insulin but the insulin is not working as well as it should, so it must make more. This type of diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin dependent diabetes (or mature-age onset diabetes).
Exercise and diabetes
Everybody benefits from regular exercise. In diabetes it plays an important role in keeping you healthy. The use of exercise in managing diabetes is well documented.
How exercise can help:
- insulin to work better which will improve your diabetes control
- to control your weight
- lower your blood pressure
- reduce your risk of heart disease
- reduce stress
Role of physiotherapy
Physiotherapists have an essential role in all aspects of diabetes management, from prevention to rehabilitation following complications. Increasingly, physiotherapists are becoming involved in diabetes prevention programs and providing services to at risk individuals.
The physiotherapists in this practice are well placed to advise you on exercise strategies that will work for you.
Physiotherapists can also assist with management of the consequences of diabetes including foot disorders and balance difficulties. Protective strategies can also be provided to prevent further damage. Through safe exercise programs, physiotherapy interventions can assist in balancing cholesterol levels and improving insulin regulation, in some patients.
Speak to your physio today about making life with diabetes easier!