A man checking his insulin

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that causes the body to either not produce insulin or not properly use the insulin it makes. Insulin’s job is to regulate blood sugar levels, and blood sugar is an important source of energy for your brain, muscles, and tissues. That’s why diabetes can make such a significant impact on your overall health.

What Causes Diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that often begins in childhood. Its exact causes aren’t known.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common. It accounts for over 90 percent of diabetes cases in adults. Similar to type 1, the exact causes are unclear, but there’s evidence that genetic and environmental factors play a role. 

People who are obese are at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But not everyone with the disease is overweight.

Some other factors that increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes include:

  • Inactivity
  • Family history
  • Age
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes

The symptoms of diabetes can be so mild at first that you don’t even notice them. But the condition tends to progress. However, early detection and treatment go a long way towards reducing your risk of complications.

Here are some of the common symptoms of diabetes:

  • Increased thirst
  • Urinating frequently
  • Extreme hunger even though you’re eating
  • Fatigue
  • Cuts and bruises take a long time to heal
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent infections

How is Diabetes Treated?

There is a wide range of treatment options for diabetes. Although there is no cure for the disease, it can be controlled. Some of the treatments used include:

  • Physiotherapy: can provide exercise programs, education, and nutrition counselling to reduce body fat, alleviate symptoms, and improve the way your body processes glucose
  • Medications: Used to boost insulin production, reduce insulin resistance, and decrease the amount of glucose the liver releases
  • Insulin: Injections and automated pumps are used to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Compression therapy: Compression socks and stockings can help reduce swelling and circulation issues related to diabetes.

Physiotherapy for Diabetes

Physiotherapists at Activa Clinics can provide a range of therapies and services for treating diabetes and alleviating its symptoms. They can also incorporate treatments from a range of disciplines into your custom diabetes management plan. That includes:

How to Prevent Diabetes

If you think you may have diabetes but haven’t been diagnosed, you should act now. You may have a condition called prediabetes, which can be reversed.  We can perform the blood glucose tests that will identify whether you have diabetes, and help guide your treatment.

Book an Appointment

We can help. With our extensive experience and comprehensive range of treatments, we can identify whether you have diabetes and help you control your condition. Let us assist you in achieving better health and wellness.


Yes, people with type 1 diabetes, on average, have shorter life expectancy by about 20 years. People with type 2 diabetes, on average, have shorter life expectancy by about 10 years.

A healthy eating plan and exercise can be enough if the person makes significant lifestyle changes. Top choices for a diabetic food list include non-starchy veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli and cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, bell peppers, celery, brussels sprouts. Grass-fed beef, lamb, free-range chicken, turkey, duck, goat, salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna are also beneficial for diabetic people.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Scientists have linked several gene mutations to a higher diabetes risk. Not everyone who carries a mutation will get diabetes. However, many people with diabetes do have one or more of these mutations.