Take Diabetes Seriously

Diabetes is a very serious condition that is not to be taken lightly. All too often I hear clients acting very nonchalant about having high blood sugar readings and providing all sorts of excuses as to why they are not exercising regularly or improving their eating habits. Not enough time, too expensive, “it’s ok I’m on medication”. Having your blood glucose levels elevated for chronic periods of time is extremely unhealthy and is proven to be the main contributing factor in a myriad of comorbidities.

Here are some stats to show just how prevalent and debilitating this condition is to have. Firstly there are over 1 million Australians currently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, if trends continue this is set to increase to 2 million by 2025. That means that 1/3 of all young adults will develop this condition if we don’t make a change.

Diabetes is associated with a myriad of complications which affect the feet, eyes, kidneys, and cardiovascular health.

  • Nerve damage in the lower limbs affects around 13% of Australians with diabetes, diabetic retinopathy occurs in over 15% of Australians with diabetes, and diabetes is now the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease.
  • In people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the primary cause of death, with around 65% of all CVD deaths in Australia occurring in people with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
  • Furthermore, 41% of people with diabetes also report poor psychological well-being with reports of anxiety, stress, depression and feeling ‘burned-out’ from coping with their diabetes.
  • Moreover, diabetes is ranked in the top 10 leading causes of death in Australia.

These facts alone should shock you but on top of that Diabetes can also cause:

  • Foot Complications – Peripheral Neuropathy and Peripheral Arterial Disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations.
  • Eye Disease – Diabetic Retinopathy and Glaucoma. Diabetics are 60% more likely to develop cataracts.
  • Kidney Disease – Diabetes is the single most common cause of end-stage kidney disease needing multiple dialysis sessions per week.
  • Cardiovascular Disease – 70% of diabetics also have Hypertension, increasing risk for Angina, Coronary Heart Disease and Strokes.

Primary prevention is aimed at stopping the development of type 2 diabetes through a healthy diet and lifestyle or medication. Early intervention with intensive lifestyle changes in people with pre-diabetes can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60% over a three-year period, and is estimated to produce a lifetime healthcare cost saving of around $1087 per person.

Data from 2010 shows that only about half of Australians with diabetes were achieving adequate control of their blood glucose levels. Poor control of blood glucose means a higher risk of developing diabetes complications. Control over blood glucose levels requires a routine of regular multi-component lifestyle interventions incorporating diet, aerobic exercise and resistance training. A study was conducted with at risk or prediabetic adult populations. These interventions were efficacious for inducing modest weight loss and eliciting improvements in glycemic control, together with improvements in aerobic fitness and dietary intake.

So if your blood sugar levels are creeping toward the danger zone or if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes then PLEASE be proactive and don’t underestimate the danger of having diabetes. Get in contact with your nearest Optimum studio and let one of our Exercise Physiologists help you get it back under control.

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