Diabetes is on the rise in Australia – someone is diagnosed every 5 minutes.
Its consequences are significant – up to 35% of Australian suffering diabetic retinopathy (eye disease), 4,400 amputations due to diabetes each year, up to 33,000 heart attacks due to diabetes and the biggest cause of kidney failure.
Whilst treatment involves your GP, a team of clinicians and medications, there are non-medication treatments that help. Here are a list of non-medication therapies, with their HbA1c reduction (reductions in average sugar levels, where a 1.0% reduction equates to 16% less heart attacks, and 35% less kidney or eye disease):
- Exercise for 150 minutes per week – lowers sugar levels immiately, including up to 3 days afterwards. Exercise reduces HbA1c by 1.4%, including specific disciplines such as yoga (1.2% HbA1c reduction) and Qi Gong (0.8% HbA1c reduction)
- Adopting a low GI (Glycaemic Index) diet reduce sugar levels and diabetes complications (0.5% HbA1c reduction)
- Adopting a Mediterranean (plant-based) diet reduces diabetes (by 30%) and cardiovascular disease risks (0.3% HbA1c reduction)
- Sleeping a minimum of 6 hours reduces diabetes onset, as well as treating sleep apnoea (1.5% HbA1c reduction)
- Regular teeth brushing lowers gingivitis and improves sugar control (0.3% HbA1c reduction)
- Managing underlying stress (2.4% HbA1c reduction) and depression (0.5% HbA1c reduction)
- Developing problem solving skills (1.2% HbA1c reduction) and having peer mentors or other people with diabetes for support (1.1% HbA1c reduction)
- Learning about self-management of diabetes and setting reminders for regular activities and appointments (both 0.5% HbA1c reduction each)
- Drinking up to 4 cups of green tea and 2 cups of coffee per day reduces the risk of death in diabetes by 65%
If you or anyone in your family is affected by diabetes, talk to one of our GPs and practice nurses at Osana and change the outcome – much is preventable when it comes to diabetes.
- Diabetes Australia website