Can Physiotherapy Help Diabetic Patients?
Dr Ruchika Bhargava (Pt)
Sarjapur, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2019
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder recognized by the high blood sugar levels.When the body produces an inadequate amount of insulin or the body’s altered reaction to insulin, it causes diabetes. Diabetes leads to circulatory problems, abnormally high glucose levels (hyperglycemia),and nerve damage. Diabetes cannot be cured, but with regular physiotherapy,it can often be managed.
Types of Diabetes Mellitus
- Insulin Dependent (Type 1)
- Non-Insulin Dependent (Type 2)
Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM)
This is an inherited autoimmune disease that produces antibodies to pancreatic beta cells. Almost 10-15% of diabetes cases represent Type 1 Diabetes. A lack of endogenous insulin production characterizes it. Therefore, administration of insulin is essential to prevent coma, ketosis,and death.
Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM)
Type 2 diabetes is associated with factors such as genetic and lifestyle which is characterized by decreased insulin secretion compared to serum glucose levels associated with peripheral insulin resistance leading to chronic hyperglycemia.
Three significant metabolic abnormalities help to characterize the Type 2 Diabetes.
- Reduced sensitivity to insulin action in the primary organs,such as the liver,muscles,and adipose tissues.
- Influence of insulin secretion of pancreatic beta cells in response to glucose stimulation.
- Excessive production of hepatic glucose in the basal state.
Benefits of Exercises for Diabetes
Exercise is beneficial to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It reduces the requirement of insulin in two ways. It increases the sensitivity of the body to insulin and increases the more efficient use of glucose.Also,it lowers the blood sugar levels.
Type 1 Diabetes
• Exercises do not have much impact in improving the glycemic control;however,they help to reduce the requirements of insulin by increasing the insulin sensitivity.
• Physical Activities lessen the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This is one of the primary benefits of exercises in type 1 diabetes. It helps to decrease heart rate and blood pressure,improve blood lipid profile,improve psychological state,and decrease body weight. Our skilled Physiotherapists use specific exercise programs to improve the quality of life and increase the life expectancy.
Type 2 Diabetes
• Here, exercises may reverse many of the defects in fat and glucose metabolism.
• Patient with NIDDM should to physical training, which is beneficial to improve the insulin sensitivity. Also, they should follow a weight reducing diet plan that causes weight loss and increase self-esteem and reduce cardiovascular risk.
Suggestions from Expert
• Consult a physiotherapist and know the right exercise for you. Usually, doctors suggest aerobic exercises.
• Make sure; you check the blood sugar level after and before you do physical training.
• Check your feet for sores and blisters after and before the exercise.
• Do exercise with proper socks and shoes.
• Drink plenty of fluid items, such as water, juice before, after, and during the exercise.
• Warm up before you start exercising and cool down after you are done.
• Consume snacks if your blood sugar level drops very low.
• Do not inject insulin in the muscle groups which is used during exercise because insulin will be absorbed very quickly and can cause low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.
• In extreme weather conditions, take extra care while exercising. Cold weather can slow down the absorption of insulin while hot weather can speed up the absorption of insulin.
How do physiotherapy exercises help?
- Helps in weight management
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps manage stress levels
- Reduces fat
- Reduces the need for insulin or other medication