What is Diabetes?

Picture 1Diabetes is a health condition that occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that converts glucose into energy, usually keeping your blood glucose levels in check. You may have heard of diabetes, but are you familiar with the signs and symptoms? And did you know that there are different types of diabetes?

What are the types of diabetes?

  • Type 1-diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the cells that produce insulin. The cause is unknown and there is no cure for Type 1 diabetes.
  • Type 2 diabetes develops gradually when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin and loses the capacity to produce enough insulin. There are strong links to genetics and lifestyle risk factors.
  • Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy. It is characterised by higher-than-normal glucose levels, usually around 24-28 weeks.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Common symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst and constant hunger
  • Passing more urine
  • Unexplained weight loss (Type 1)
  • Gradual weight gain (Type 2)
  • Vision changes/blurred vision
  • Fatigue and lethargy

Type 1 diabetes has a rapid onset of symptoms, and most people are diagnosed before they reach adulthood. Type 2 diabetes is harder to detect. The symptoms are not as pronounced, so it can go unnoticed for long periods of time.

How is diabetes treated and managed?

Type 1 diabetes requires insulin replacement through injections or a pump. Daily doses of insulin are required to control blood glucose levels. Lifestyle changes cannot prevent Type 1 diabetes, however maintaining a healthy lifestyle after diagnosis can reduce your risk of developing serious complications (e.g. kidney disease or eye damage).

Through changes to diet and increased physical activity you can slow or halt the progression of Type 2 diabetes. You may also need medicine to manage glucose levels.

Can osteopathic treatment help to manage diabetes?

As osteopaths, we take a holistic approach to healthcare. Whether you have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes or are working to slow the onset of Type 2 diabetes, we can provide diet, exercise, stress-management, and lifestyle advice to help.

Osteopathic treatment can also help to relieve some of the musculoskeletal symptoms/dysfunction caused by diabetes. We will work with you to understand your symptoms and develop an appropriate treatment plan to get you back to feeling your best.

If you need help managing diabetes symptoms, give us a call on 9078 2455 or email us at info@innerwesthealthclinic.com.au to book an appointment.

References:

  1. Health Direct (2022). Diabetes. [Online]. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/diabetes (Accessed 5 April 2022).
  • World Health Organization. (2022). Diabetes [Online]. Available at:

https://www.who.int/health-topics/diabetes (Accessed 5 April 2022).