November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

The Pilates Community as health professionals can make a difference with diabetes or patients with diabetes. As a Pilates professional you can be more aware of the disease by becoming a Diabetes Educator. The online course only takes 60 minutes to complete and should be completed within a month.

It is designed to help nurses and other health professionals to effectively support people with diabetes and to promote healthy lifestyles and self-management to achieve optimal control of the condition. To mark World Diabetes Day 2020, the online course is available free until 31 December 2020.

All health professionals involved in diabetic management and care are eligible to take the course.

The 14th of November is World Diabetes Day on which day the International Diabetes Federation are campaigning towards raised awareness around the crucial role nurses play in supporting people living with the disease. One in two people with diabetes are unaware that they have it. World Diabetes Day is a global occasion designed to unite people to raise awareness of diabetes both in the lead up to the 14th of November 2020 and following on from the success of the day. Health care professionals are encouraged to wear blue on the day and/or to wear the blue circle pin or bracelet on the day or at World Diabetes Events. (link:

In 2020 World Diabetes Foundation is organising the Global Diabetes Walk in which registered participants are encouraged to design their own walk in all of November to mark World Diabetes Day. To organise a walk or register for a walk go to

Nurses account for 59% of health professionals and the global workforce of nurses in shortage is concentrated mostly on low and middle-income countries. It is estimated that the number of nurses trained and employed needs to grow by 8% per annum to overcome forecast shortfalls. The Australian government has requested that people in the fitness industry transition to a health profession such as nursing during the global pandemic. Those already involved in nursing could play a significant role in making the difference for people with diabetes by equipping themselves with the skills to support them.

The Pilates professional whose focus is on the continuing practice, promotion and development of Pilates as a therapy may benefit themselves, the community and the people by following an education pathway that includes completing short courses and free courses which expose them to information about pertinent health news and promotions.

Although the role of the nurse is in focus in 2020, the role of the Pilates Professional is just as important when considering their exposure to people in the fitness industry where diabetics are seeking exercise. Pilates in a studio setting is ideal as a supervised exercise program and can attract a diabetes or pre-diabetes type of person. The Pilates practitioner should consider doing short online courses in-line with the medical and nursing community as they are on the frontline and often in isolated situations which might call for immediate knowledge. The online course called The Role of the Diabetes Educator is available to help nurses and other professional support staff to improve their knowledge and understanding of the condition. (link:

symptoms of diabetes infographic

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

When Signs of Diabetes Appear

For practitioners of Pilates it is important to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of diabetes and consult with their clients regularly so so that any clients with indications of pre-diabetes will be noticed and dealt with prior to onset, with early intervention, reversal of symptoms and perhaps even cure.

Although the Pilates practitioner may not be qualified as a diabetes specialist and therefore not capable of making a diagnosis they can certainly refer the patient to a GP or a specialist in order to make appropriate arrangements which will put better choices in front of those susceptible to the disease.

As a Pilates practitioner we can direct the patient to a dietitian or nutritionist who can advise about dietary adjustments.

For a person with diabetes, exercise helps:

  • insulin to work better, which will improve your diabetes management
  • maintain a healthy weight range
  • lower your blood pressure
  • reduce your risk of heart disease
  • reduce stress

Drinking extra fluid and taking on extra carbohydrates with exercise may help to stabilise blood glucose levels and it may be necessary to monitor blood glucose levels during exercise too. It may also be necessary to adjust insulin levels prior to exercise. Discuss appropriate adjustments one you are a certified Diabetes Educator or refer your client to their doctor for more information.

In November health care workers, including Pilates Practitioners, are also being encouraged to take the test for Type 2 diabetes.

The International Diabetes Federation has developed a test for Type 2 diabetes based on the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score and only takes a couple of minutes to complete. The test is also available in several languages. (link:


A Diabetes Story

By Annie

My pre-diabetic symptoms began about 15 years ago, in my 50’s. I was advised to lose weight. I didn’t.

About 5 years later my GP decided I should start on Metformin 500.

In recent years when I have had to have surgeries and have been upgraded to Metformin 2000, Glucacide and a once weekly injection of Dulicitide. Symptoms are vagueness, fatigue, numbness in the feet, nausea and weakness. The diet recommended is not inducive to weight loss and a high protein diet is both expensive and very difficult long term.

My top hints are: – Eat much smaller meals, drink less alcohol, get plenty of rest, walk, swim, avoid stressful situations and people.


For Pilates practitioners working in today’s society it is important to encourage physical activity and make positive and healthy dietary changes a priority.

Studio Tools

  • Print
  • Factsheets
  • Leaflets
  • Wall Posters

Direct clients to where there is lots of information

The App ‘One Drop’ is possibly suitable for people with diabetes to help keep them organised.


Article by Heidi Simpson, PAA Member, and Pilates Practitioner.


References; Diabetes Australia, Diabetes NSW, World Diabetes Foundation