6% of Australians have diabetes but 10% of all hospitalisations are associated with diabetes

Type 1 diabetes mellitus, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, gestational diabetes, age-related diabetes

The problem

Diabetes is a chronic health condition where the body is unable to manage blood sugar levels. The different types of diabetes relate to different causes for this inability to manage sugars. Type 2 diabetes is by far, the most common type.

Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) is an auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. The cause of T1DM is still unknown, although genes, exposure to certain chemicals, diet and gut microbiology have been suggested as influences. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and require lifelong insulin injections for survival. The disease can occur at any age, although it mostly occurs in children and young adults. Type 1 diabetes is sometimes referred to as juvenile onset diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is a developed resistance to the effects of insulin, and/or the inability to produce sufficient insulin. It is associated with hereditary factors but lifestyle risk factors including poor diet, insufficient physical activity and obesity also play a huge role. People with type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their condition through lifestyle changes; however, diabetes medications or insulin injections may also be required to control blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in people aged over 40 years old, however, the disease is also becoming increasingly prevalent in younger age groups.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and results in higher than normal blood sugar concentration despite no diagnosis of diabetes prior. The condition usually disappears once the baby is born, however, a history of gestational diabetes increases a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. The condition may be managed by adopting healthy diet and exercise habits, although diabetes medication, including insulin, may also be required. Risk factors include unhealthy weight, genes or a family history of T2DM, gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy and/or having polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Why see an Exercise Physiologist?

While someone with diabetes may be on medication to alleviate symptoms and prevent further progression, exercise tailored and delivered by an Exercise Physiologist can have the same effect. Exercise may even be effective enough to reduce medication reliance for diabetes and many associated conditions like hypertension or high cholesterol.

Exercise has been shown to:

  • Assist with the short and long-term management of blood sugar concentration
  • Improve muscle uptake of blood sugar
  • Reduce weight associated with the increased risk of developing and sustaining diabetes

Exercise also helps other chronic health conditions, providing improvements in pain, metabolism, cardiovascular fitness, mood, strength, flexibility and quality of life. The improved well-being, productivity and reduced health expenses have been calculated at an $8.50 return for every $1 spent… How’s that for investing in yourself?

What type of exercise in involved?

Aerobic and resistance exercise will constitute a majority of your exercise program. During your appointment we will discuss what modes of exercise you enjoy and suit your current health status. In addition to exercise with us, we will work with you to develop an exercise plan you can do at home. This means you can get real bang for your buck while developing your confidence and learning to take control of your health.

You can expect an individually-tailored exercise program, so don’t worry about ‘keeping up’ – we will ensure your program is right for you, every step of the way.

Blood sugar control
blood testing
senior exercise
senior fitness
senior fitness

Want to know more?

You can learn more about the MOH approach to diabetes and other chronic illnesses, see our blogs relating to clinical exercise;

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