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November Is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Physical therapy may be your answer for managing diabetes complications in Bradenton

This month is American Diabetes Month, which is a call-to-action put forth each 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 one of the best ways to address your diabetes complications.

Diabetes occurs when the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells in the body fail to recognize the insulin that’s there.  Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use glucose (blood sugar) for energy by transporting it from the blood into cells.  About 26 million Americans have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, while another 80 million or so have pre-diabetes, in which glucose levels are abnormal but not yet considered diabetic.  Both types of diabetes can lead to similar symptoms such as increased thirst and hunger, extreme fatigue, blurry vision and increased urination, as well as other resulting complications that can interfere with daily life.

About 50% of diabetics will also experience a condition called diabetic peripheral neuropathy.  This complication is the result of poor circulation throughout the body and can lead to pain, tingling and numbness, as well as decreased balance and proprioception, which can cause an abnormal gait and increase the risk for falls.  Unfortunately, peripheral neuropathy can’t be reversed, but physical therapy can help by retraining sensory receptors in the legs to compensate for these changes.  By addressing these impairments, physical therapy can improve balance and function, and reduce fall risk.

Another major problem with diabetes is that poor circulation and other factors significantly increase the healing time for injuries.  This may prevent diabetics from staying as active as they’d like and could discourage them from exercising.  Aside from medication and dietary changes, physical activity is considered a cornerstone of diabetes treatment, and it’s an essential component of any treatment plan, Learn More.

For this reason, we encourage all of our diabetic patients to get regular physical activity and also provide treatment programs that include different types of exercise and soft tissue mobilization techniques.  Most programs consist of aerobic and resistance training, as combining the two of them has been found to be very beneficial for glucose levels.  These interventions increase blood flow to injured areas and will help advance the healing process, which means patients recover from injuries as quickly and safely as possible.

Diabetes can really get in the way of your physical wellbeing, but there are many measures that can be taken to address these problems.  Visit Physical Therapy Doctors of Florida, where we can effectively manage diabetes complications in Bradenton, FL. Call us at 941-264-1414 for more information or to schedule an appointment.