Diabetes is a chronic illness that affects the body’s ability to transport and utilise glucose. This means that digested carbohydrates remain in the blood instead of getting into the cells of the body where they are needed to provide energy. The result is low energy levels, muscle weakness, excess weight and other complications such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Fortunately, Type-2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes), which is the more common type, can be controlled with proper nutrition, medication and physiotherapy.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder, therefore by embarking on a physiotherapy prescribed exercise programme, the body’s metabolism is sped up and glucose finds its way into the cells more readily, instead of being flushed out of the body via urine. Other benefits of a physiotherapy designed programme are:
- Weight loss
- Improved muscle strength
- Increased bone density
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase in HDL (good) cholesterol which has a significant impact on controlling heart disease.
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved balance and posture
You may be thinking that you can receive these benefits from any exercise programme, but that may not be the case. Diabetes is an illness that requires careful monitoring, therefore certain precautions must be taken during exercise. If your blood sugar levels or blood pressure are too high or too low, exercise may be contraindicated. We are trained to observe your reactions and monitor you physically during therapy and exercise and take the necessary precautions.
Another serious complication of diabetes is diabetic neuropathy or loss of sensation in the extremities. Many people suffering from this condition may not be aware of stepping on sharp objects or may sustain burns while unaware of heat such as hot water. We will help you improve your circulation to prevent this from happening and we will also instruct you on the type of footwear to use to prevent poor circulation.
Physiotherapy for diabetes takes a holistic approach to treatment, therefore your safety and well-being are our primary concern. You can control your diabetes with some help. Come in and see us today.