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Diabetes and Lifestyle

Good blood sugar control and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of serious complications such as heart and kidney disease, eye problems and nerve problems.

Of the 1.1 million people living with diabetes in Australia, around 85–90 per cent have type 2 diabetes. The good news is that up to 58 per cent of cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented, or at least delayed, in the high risk (pre-diabetes) population by maintaining a healthy weight.
The main keys to long-term weight loss and reducing your waist measurement are healthy eating and regular physical activity.
Your Gympie Amcal pharmacist can give you advice on weight loss and pharmacy programs available to help you lose weight.

Your Amcal pharmacist can help you with a free MedsCheck, discuss how to get the best out of your medicines, use of your blood sugar monitor and equip you to effectively manage your diabetes. We offer a range of additional diabetes services including access to educational material, or even walking groups!
Other areas that we can help you with your diabetes are to reduce smoking, alcohol intake, lower stress and education on food.

In type 2 diabetes, your pancreas is still working but not as effectively as it needs to. This means your body is building insulin resistance and is unable to effectively convert glucose into energy leaving too much glucose in the blood. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes initially be managed through lifestyle modification including a healthy diet, regular exercise and monitoring your blood glucose levels.

  • Eating well helps manage your blood glucose levels and your body weight.
  • Exercising helps the insulin work more effectively, lowers your blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.

 Regular blood glucose monitoring tests whether the treatment being followed is adequately controlling blood glucose levels or whether you need to adjust your treatment.
The aim of diabetes management is to keep blood glucose levels as close to the target range between 4 to 6 mmol/L (fasting), this will help prevent both short-term and long-term complications.
Lifestyle changes are important for people at higher risk of diabetes and those who are newly diagnosed with type 2, to help manage their diabetes.

The recommended lifestyle interventions include:

Exercise & Diabetes
Taking two and a half hours each week of moderate intensity physical activity or one hour and 15 minutes of high intensity exercise.
Weight & Diabetes
Losing weight gradually to achieve a healthy body mass index
 Replacing refined carbohydrates with wholegrain foods and increase intake of vegetables and other foods high in dietary fibre
 Reducing the amount of saturated fat in the diet
Stress & Diabetes
Stress has been recognised a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. When an individual is stressed their body responds with the threat response. The human body undergoes a number of changes; stress hormones are released that increase blood pressure, a surge in blood glucose levels and activates the immune system.
Non-crucial bodily functions such as digestion, growth and repair are slowed to ensure energy is used to fight or flee the threat that is instigating the threat response.
Additionally, by reducing stress levels, chances of developing diabetes related complications such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension and mental health conditions including depression and anxiety
Smoking & Diabetes
Smoking can cause a number of diabetes complications
The information that smoking is bad for us is everywhere, but for diabetics, smoking can be even more damaging.
Smoking is now proven to be an independent risk factor for diabetes, and amongst diabetics it increases the risk of complications. Especially with Micro-vascular and Macro-vascular complications.
Diabetes complications already include heart disease, stroke and circulation problems. Smoking adds to the risk of developing all of these things. In some cases, smoking can double the likelihood of these conditions, as well as doubling the chances of suffering from kidney problems and erectile dysfunction.
Alcohol & Diabetes
There is no need for people with diabetes to give up alcohol simply because of their diabetes. However alcohol does have an effect on blood sugar levels, with a few precautions and careful management, people with diabetes can also enjoy a drink. Limit alcohol to healthy levels.
There are also alcohol substitutes for those who abstain. The important factor is alcohol does contain hidden calories.
Sleep Apnoea & Diabetes Persons with diabetes have a higher incidence of Sleep Apnoea. The consequences of sleep apnoea can effect not only your health but also your quality of life as well.

Good blood sugar control and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of serious complications such as heart and kidney disease, eye problems and nerve problems.