Hi, Im Andreas Zacharakis!
I’m a physiotherapist at Primal physiotherapy and a type 1 diabetic. I’m sure this bio will help you learn a few things about diabetes and why I became a physiotherapist.
Life as a diabetic – when did you found out?
When I was 21 years old, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children or in infants who are born with the condition, so it’s not common for someone to develop it as late as I did. Initially, life was challenging – there is so much stigma surrounding diabetes. I often received comments such as “you must have eaten too much sugar” or thinking I was overweight and lived an unhealthy lifestyle. None of these are the case and acceptance was challenging until I educated myself. I do have to inject insulin throughout the day such as when I wake up, before and after meals which I felt quite overwhelming and a lot of effort. However, nowadays it has become like second nature and I treat have Type 1 Diabetes as being forced to eat healthily and exercise, which is what we should all be trying to do anyway.
How do you know if you’re a diabetic?
Firstly, it’s important to note that there are many types of diabetes, and consulting a health professional should always be the first step you take before attempting to self-diagnose whether you are diabetic or not. In my case, there was no progression or signs that I had Type 1 Diabetes, it just happened. I decided to get a blood test randomly and it just so happened my sugar levels were double the normal limit! Those that have high sugar levels may show common signs such as tiredness, constant need to use the bathroom, fatigue, and heaviness in the eyes. However, even if you think you have these symptoms, always go to your doctor for the best advice.
How has your physiotherapy background helped you better with results?
I suffered many injuries in my junior sporting years and decided to pursue a career as a physio to help those in need get back to full health. I graduated with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science & Bachelor of Physiotherapy (honours) at Monash University.
Working as a physiotherapist you see all different types of injuries and conditions which are treated in many ways. One common way is through exercise! Exercise is a great way in controlling your blood sugar levels and when I show my clients their exercises, I do it with them to show how to do it but also sneakily get through a few reps to use up more sugar! Unfortunately, type 1 diabetes is very common, and I have seen many people with it. Through Primal I have been able to educate my clients on diabetes but also share our stories and tips and tricks on how to better manage.
Currently, I manage my insulin via insulin injections. However, in the coming weeks, I will be transferring over to an insulin pump to help me better manage. But,*fingers crossed* new technology is coming out very shortly where combining this insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) it can act as an artificial pancreas! So I won’t be needing to worry about my sugars (as much!).
You can learn more about me and my life as a Type 1 Diabetic on my Instagram here : https://www.instagram.com/sugar_coated_diabetic/