Physical therapy may be the solution you’re seeking for your diabetes-related symptoms in Glenn Dale

National Diabetes Month

November 12, 2018

This month is American Diabetes Month, which is a call-to-action put forth every November by the American Diabetes Association, whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all those affected by it. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., and though many people may not realize it, physical therapy is actually one of the best methods available to address your diabetes-related symptoms in Glenn Dale.

According to the most recent statistics, there are approximately 29 million Americans with diabetes, and about 8 million of these individuals are not even aware that they have the condition. This represents more than 9% of the population, and it still doesn’t even account for prediabetics. Another 86 million people have what’s called prediabetes, which means their blood sugar (glucose) is higher than normal and they are at risk for developing diabetes if they don’t improve their health with lifestyle changes.

In short, diabetes means that the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or cells fail to recognize the insulin that is present. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use glucose for energy. When glucose isn’t used properly, it builds up in the blood and can lead to complications like high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke or a nervous system disorder called diabetic neuropathy. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells, and it usually develops early in life. In type 2 diabetes, which can develop at any age, cells in the body actually become resistant to insulin. Both types can lead to similar symptoms, which include increased thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, slow-healing sores, constant or extreme hunger and frequent urination.

Though not much can be done to prevent type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is very preventable, since it usually results from habits like bad diet, obesity and lack of physical activity. Addressing these habits and making certain changes in behavior can actually help prediabetics stave off or completely avoid the onset of diabetes. And for the millions of people who already have diabetes, proper management is also incredibly crucial. The ultimate goal is to prevent—or at least slow down—the rate of development of diabetic complications with important lifestyle changes.

How an exercise program can help manage your diabetes-related complications in Glenn Dale

Experts consider the four pillars of diabetes management—or “the four Ms”—to be: meals (nutrition), monitoring (glucose levels), medication, and movement (exercise). While each of these pillars should not be overlooked, getting regular exercise may perhaps have the most significant impact on your condition and complications. When you introduce physical activity to your life on a regular basis, your cells become more sensitive to insulin, which allows it to work more efficiently throughout the body. This is why we strongly recommend regular physical activity as an essential component of every treatment program we prescribe for patients with diabetes. We are experienced in treating both diabetics and pre-diabetics at our practice, and can help you manage your diabetes-related symptoms in Glenn Dale and reduce the need for more medication. If you are affected by diabetes, here’s what we will provide:

  • First, a physical therapist will perform a full-scale evaluation of your condition, including strength, range of motion, balance, flexibility and posture assessment, and determine what types of limitations you may have and what interventions will be most beneficial for you
  • Most programs will consist of aerobic exercise and resistance training; combining these two elements will have the most beneficial effect on blood glucose levels
  • Aerobic exercise, such as walking and biking, will increase your heart rate, which strengthens the lungs and heart and burns calories
  • Resistance training like weightlifting helps build stronger bones and muscles
  • Supervised, individualized exercise has also been found to improve balance, increase metabolism and muscle mass, and improve glucose levels
  • We will also address any issues you may have with diabetic neuropathy through balance and gait training, and other interventions if necessary

Both type 1 and type 2 are conditions that require constant management at all times, but there are certainly ways to relieve the burden it may create. If you’re looking to improve in your condition, physical activity is necessary, and our physical therapists can help you find the best ways to stay active and keep your diabetes regulated. Contact CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services at 301-464-7390 to schedule an appointment at any of our four clinics in Hyattsville, Laurel, Glenn Dale/Bowie, or our newest location in Silver Spring, MD, or click here for more information on physical therapy for diabetes.