Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease characterised by an elevated fasting blood glucose level due to defects in insulin secretion or inability to use insulin.
Did you realise that one in four Australian adults has been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes? And that Western Sydney is a diabetes hot spot?
T2DM results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although there is a strong genetic predisposition, the risk is greatly increased when associated with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.
Exercise cannot reverse the damage to the cells in the pancreas that leads to the decreased production of insulin. However, exercise can improve the way the muscles respond to insulin, which, in turn, helps regulate the blood glucose level for some hours after the exercise.
Exercise also increases glucose uptake by the muscles in other ways that do not depend on insulin. In addition, exercise can lower the dose of insulin required by improving the body’s response to insulin.
Diabetes can cause permanent and irreversible damage to blood vessels and nerves that put your feet at risk of serious complications such as ulcers and amputations. Comprehensive foot care programs can reduce the risk of ulceration and amputation by 85%.
People with diabetes need to take extra care of their feet and have a comprehensive foot exam (by a Podiatrist) at least annually. During this examination the Podiatrist will conduct a thorough assessment of nerve function and blood flow to the feet, thus establishing the individual’s risk of developing immediate and long-term diabetic foot complications. They will also advise you on steps you can take to reduce your risk and provide professional advice on how to keep your feet healthy.