Physiotherapists are in a unique position to assist in the management of diabetes, through exercise prescription and education about diabetes.
Physiotherapists are often able to spend the time required with people diagnosed with diabetes to discuss the lifestyle changes that people can make to help manage their condition. This results in better health outcomes, and often reduces or eliminates the need for medication. People with diabetes may be suitable for an Enhanced Primary Care plan, arranged by their G.P, which allows for rebates on physiotherapy consultations that allows for a comprehensive management plan to be developed. Exercise is also known to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease. The recommended guidelines for exercise encourage at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, on most days of the week (ie. The exercise is advised to be a mixture of cardiovascular exercise (such as walking, swimming, bike riding), and resistance training (such as light weights, free weights, body weight exercises).
Resistance training should work all the major muscle groups, and should be performed 3 times per week to be most effective. Although this structured form of exercise can be very beneficial, so can other activities such as dancing, water aerobics, golfing and gardening. The physiotherapists at Physio Professionals are able to help with developing an appropriate exercise program for people with Diabetes, as well as provide education to people eager to learn more about modifying their lifestyle to help manage their diabetes.
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The incidence of diabetes is increasing in Australia, resulting in increased costs and strain on the health system. It is the 6th leading cause of death in Australia.
Weight loss is often a key goal in helping people to manage their diabetes, and structured, progressive exercise programs have been found to increase compliance and therefore be most successful. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder involving insulin and the body’s use of glucose or sugar.
Group exercise sessions are also highly desirable, as they encourage commitment, motivation and can often be more fun than exercising solo!
Over time, this excess sugar causes a number of different problems in various organs and systems of the body. Type 2 diabetes is a result of some combination of genetic susceptibility, poor diet, age, and obesity. Ninety percent of those with type 2 diabetes are overweight, and the majority are over 40 years of age.
Typically, type 2 diabetes is diagnosed as a result of routine blood and urine examinations. The Western medical treatment of type 2 diabetes consists of dietary control, weight loss, and oral hypoglycemic drugs.
Over those two millennia, Chinese doctors have continually refined their understanding and their treatment of this condition. Because of changes of diet and lifestyle, China is also experiencing a surge in the number of cases of diabetes. Therefore, a huge amount of energy has gone into research on the Chinese medical treatment of diabetes and a large literature now exists on this subject. The good news for sufferers of this condition is that Chinese medicine ( including both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine) can effectively treat this condition and, in some cases, actually cure it.Can Chinese Medicine be used at the same time as Western Medicine?Yes, most definitely. There have been many, many research protocols done in China on the combined use of Chinese and Western medicines for the treatment of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This research suggests that the combination of Chinese and Western medicine for this condition is better and more effective than either alone. When one combines Chinese and Western medicines, one gets all the power and speed of the Western drugs while typically requiring a lower dose and fewer different medications.
In addition, the Chinese medicine is commonly able to eliminate any side effects of the Western medications.
Since such side effects are typically a function of dose and number of medications, reducing the doses and numbers of Western drugs is a major benefit.Can Chinese medicine also treat the complications of diabetes?Yes again. There are Chinese medical treatments for diabetes hypertension, diabetic high cholesterol, diabetic coronary heart disease, diabetic cerebral vascular disease, diabetic neuropathy of all sorts, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic skin conditions, and diabetic opportunistic infections.
Positive research has been done in China on each and every one of these either using Chinese medicine alone or a combination of Chinese and Western medicines.
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