Physical Therapy And Diabetes

Dr. Nelli Ban, PT, DPT

According to CDC’s report in 2020,

34.2 million Americans have diabetes;

That’s 10.5% of the US population.

But what is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. With the help of insulin, the muscles can draw in glucose from the blood, lowering blood sugar levels. It’s like a key that allows glucose to enter cells throughout your body. When the body does not have enough insulin in the blood, it means glucose within the blood cannot get into muscle cells to fuel them, thus they malfunction. Glucose is the primary energy source used by cells. Unmanaged diabetes allows glucose to build up in the blood rather than being distributed to cells or stored. This leads people who have diabetes into an extremely dangerous state where toxins build up quickly inside them because of a lack of access from proper metabolism on top of being used too much by wayward cell activity.

Types of Diabetes

The main two types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, although there are other, more uncommon types.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces very little or no insulin at all. About five percent of diabetes cases are type 1, which can arise early in life and is not linked with lifestyle factors.

In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas initially produces insulin, but the cells of your body are unable to make good use of the insulin. This is called insulin resistance. According to the American Diabetes Association, the vast majority -- about 95 percent -- of diabetes cases are type 2, which is often (but not always) tied to being overweight or obese.

Why are the rates of Diabetes increasing so rapidly in the US?

A number of factors may be responsible for the increases in diabetes. This includes an aging population since diabetes strikes the elderly more often.

Another factor is the increase in the prevalence of obesity or body mass index which is linked to increases in the prevalence of diabetes in many other studies.

How Physical Therapy Can Help With Diabetes

Physical Therapy is not just about treating patients with traumatic injury and mobility issues. Over the years the physical therapy profession has changed a lot and has continued to expand treatment areas, many of which are based on medical advances.

Regardless of the type of diabetes you have, regular physical activity is important for your overall health and wellness. We help people in managing diabetes with physical activity and prescribed exercises that are important and can effectively lower high blood glucose levels. Exercise benefits people with Diabetes because it increases insulin sensitivity. In other words, after your PT sessions and exercise, your body doesn't need as much insulin to process carbohydrates.

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Aims to provide informative articles, medical views and health tips for patients suffering from musculoskeletal conditions, joint injuries, needing help with relief from chronic pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, and certain cancer-related complications.


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