Type 2 Diabetes – Management and Treatment

19 Jul, 2018

Type 2 Diabetes

There are two types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, and is a progressive disease diagnosed when the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin, or loses the ability to produce enough insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas to reduce blood sugar levels. It allows the passage of glucose from the blood into our cells throughout the body, which require glucose (energy) to carry out normal functions. So, if blood sugar levels are high, levels of glucose being delivered to our cells is low. This means our cells cannot function optimally.



There is no 1 specific cause of type 2 diabetes. It is often diagnosed in the 5th and 6th decades of life, and is associated with modifiable risk factors such as those below, but is also associated with genetics.

  • Poor diet
  • Low physical activity levels
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure


  • Being excessively thirsty
  • Urinating more often or in larger volumes
  • Feeling tired and lethargic
  • Always feeling hungry
  • Slowly healing wounds/cuts/grazes/scratches
  • Itching, skin infections
  • Blurred vision
  • Gradual weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Leg cramps
  • Numbness in fingers and/or toes

In some people, higher than normal blood sugar levels are detected, however these levels are lower than the cutoff for a diagnoses of diabetes. This is called “pre-diabetes” which is possible to manage and prevent from becoming diabetes. Dietary changes and physical activity prescription are the most effective ways of doing this.


As with most chronic or long-term conditions, diabetes is best managed with input from a variety of healthcare professionals including your GP, physiotherapist, podiatrist, nurse, optometrist and/or dietician. Whichever combination of these professionals are involved in your care will depend on your individual symptoms, which may vary between people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It needs to be managed effectively and efficiently to prevent complications that can have devastating effects on your health and quality of life. These complications can include damage to the eyes, nerves, blood vessels or kidneys. It is likely that eventually medication or insulin injections will be necessary to manage this condition.

What physiotherapists can offer in the management of diabetes:

  • Massage for pain relief and improving circulation
  • Education
  • Goal setting
  • Exercise prescription to assist in stabilising blood sugar levels

Contact us today for an in-home assessment and management plan for yourself or a loved one with diabetes.


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