What is Diabetes?
Diabetes 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.
Diabetes and the Management by a Naturopathic Doctor
Diabetes is the results of poorly controlled blood glucose levels. It is not an uncommon occurrence in the Canadian population. This is concerning because of symptoms that can negatively impact quality of life, such as fatigue, cravings and weight gain. Even more severe is that excessive blood sugars and insulin resistance can damage many organs in the body, in particular the nervous tissue, cardiovascular system, kidneys and eyes.
The first step out Naturopathic Doctor will take a full health intake to determine what stage you are at. He will also recommend getting lab work done which will solidify the stage of insulin resistance you are in.
Once results are in supplements, diet and lifestyle changes will be recommended. Follow up appointments are highly recommended to adjust the plan as you progress back to normal. Re testing of certain labs may also be recommend to monitor progress. We may also work with your other health care practitioners to help with changes medications or dosages.
If you need help managing diabetes symptoms, give us a call on (416) 546-4887, or email us at [email protected] to book an appointment.
- Health Direct (2022). Diabetes. [Online]. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/diabetes (Accessed 5 April 2022).
- Diabetes Australia (2022). What is Diabetes [Online]. Available at: https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/about-diabetes/what-is-diabetes/ (Accessed 5 April 2022).
- World Health Organization. (2022). Diabetes [Online]. Available at:
https://www.who.int/health-topics/diabetes (Accessed 5 April 2022).