Symptoms of diabetes
Symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes include excessive thirst, a frequent need to pass urine, increased hunger, blurred vision and fatigue. There may also be some unexplained weight loss, nausea or abdominal pain. Once diabetes is diagnosed and the individual’s blood sugars are under control, these symptoms will diminish.
Types of diabetes
There are 3 main types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes is often known as insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile diabetes as it usually affects children and young adults. Symptoms start over weeks/months as the pancreas stops producing insulin and blood sugars rise.
Type 2 Diabetes is often known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult onset diabetes. It has a gradual onset and affects adults who are often obese as the cells stop responding to the insulin that is being produced by the body.
The third type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes (GDM). It resembles type 2 diabetes but it occurs during pregnancy and often disappears after delivery. It is important that the mother maintains strict control of blood sugars during pregnancy to avoid any harm to the unborn child.
Diagnosis of diabetes
Diabetes is diagnosed by your general practitioner using the results of a fasting blood glucose test. High levels of glucose in the blood before eating indicate that the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or the body is not responding to it appropriately. Your doctor will confirm the subtype of diabetes and commence appropriate treatment.
Treatment of diabetes
There is no cure for diabetes. It is managed using a combination of medication, diet and exercise. It is important that the individual understand the diagnosis and learns how to control their blood sugar levels independently. With support from a diabetic nurse, appropriate insulin delivery, a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle it is possible to achieve target blood glucose levels. However, without this glucose control, diabetes can cause a number of short and long-term health complications. Long-term uncontrolled blood sugars can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves and increased risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and stroke. The risk of these complications is increased if the individual with diabetes smokes, drinks high quantities of alcohol regularly and does not carry out any regular exercise.
Physiotherapy for diabetes
Exercise is an integral part of treatment for diabetes whether you have good control of your blood sugars or whether you are experiencing secondary complications of diabetes. Following a detailed physiotherapy assessment, a treatment plan will be discussed that may include:
- Monitoring of blood sugars in response to exercise
- Cardiovascular exercise
- Strengthening of arms, legs and trunk
- Core stability and balance exercise
- Mobility practice
- Promotion of healthy diet and lifestyle
If you are already experiencing some of the complications of diabetes, our specialist physiotherapists will assess your needs and are able to provide mobility aids and equipment to make tasks easier and safer. We will assess your mobility, vision, sensation, circulation and fitness and focus treatment at an appropriate level. Individuals with diabetes significantly benefit from regular physiotherapy treatment. The benefits of physiotherapy include:
- Increased knowledge of how to manage your blood sugars in relation to exercise
- Provision of a home exercise program specifically written for you
- Increased cardiovascular fitness
- Increased motivation and participation in regular physical activity
- Increased muscle strength
- Increased core stability and balance
- Increased ability to walk/jog/run/swim
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of secondary complications of diabetes
Why Physio.co.uk for diabetes
At Physio.co.uk we have a clear understanding of the causes, symptoms and problems related to diabetes. With specialist physiotherapy treatment and advice you can avoid secondary complications and lead a normal fulfilling active life.
- Treatment at any stage of your diabetes
- Experienced, knowledgeable physiotherapists
- Treatment at home, in clinic or the gym
- Access to specialised gymnasium
- Access to hydrotherapy
- No waiting lists
- Flexible appointment times