On world Diabetes Day we look into Diabetes Type 2 – what is it and how to manage it.

What is it? When our pancreas dose not produce enough insulin / and or the body not working well enough to respond effectively to the insulin. As a result of this insulin resistance, the pancreas responds by producing greater and greater amounts of insulin, to try and achieve some degree of management of the blood glucose levels. This is a progressive condition as the ongoing destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas leads to un-manageable blood glucose levels.

Symptoms include:
• Being excessively thirsty
• Passing more urine
• Feeling tired and lethargic
• Always feeling hungry
• Having cuts that heal slowly
• Itching
• Skin infections
• Blurred vision
• Gradually putting on weight
• Mood swings
• Headaches
• Feeling dizzy
• Leg cramps

Diabetes generally develops in people over 45yrs but we are seeing a rise in children and young adults. It can be more likely with people with a family history of diabetes, overweight, high blood pressure, from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background or from Pacific Island, Indian subcontinent or Chinese cultural background.
There is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can be managed with lifestyle modifications / changes and in some cases, medication may be most effective.

Management of type 2 diabetes:
Healthy eating  Reducing portion sizes and eating less foods that increase blood glucose levels such as sugar and white bread products. Click here to see our One Week Eating Plan for People with Diabetes.

Regular physical activity  Movement is key to managing diabetes. Ideas could include: 30 min wal, gym class, swimming, cycling – what ever makes you feel good. If you are wanting to lose weight you should aim for 45-60 min per day of exercise that raises the heart rate. Here is a link to Diabetes Australia activities – regular physical activity.

See a Podiatrist
The key to amputation prevention in diabetic patients is early recognition and regular foot screenings every six months by a qualified Podiatrist. In addition to these check-ups, there are warning signs that you should be aware of and ensure you see a Podiatrist or GP as soon as possible. They include:
• Skin colour changes
• Elevation in skin temperature
• Swelling of the foot or ankle
• Pain in the legs
• Open sores on the feet that are slow to heel
• Ingrown and fungal toenails
• Bleeding corns and calluses
• Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel

Wound healing – Ulceration is a common occurrence with the diabetic foot and should be carefully treated and monitored to avoid amputations. Poorly fitted shoes or even a stocking seam can create a wound that may not be felt by someone whose level of skin sensation is diminished. Left unattended, such ulcers can quickly become infected and lead to more serious consequences. Your podiatric physician knows how to treat and prevent these wounds and can be an important factor in keeping your feet healthy and strong.

Living with type 2 diabetes
It is possible to live with diabetes and still have a great life – I hear some of my patients say they don’t want to change what they eat but I suggest that it’s about moderation and modification eg. don’t sit down to the whole chocolate cake have a small slice and really enjoy the fact that you can.
The National Diabetes Service scheme (NDSS) has a free online course to help show you how to live with diabetes, show you where to go for support and online links to additional information. This is the link to register : Click here to register and start learning.

By Janine Frampton – ProMed Podiatry Clinic
Click here to book a Diabetes Assessment with a Podiatrist today.

Diabetes information and links extracted from : https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/

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