Diabetes Mellitus Type II, also known as adult-onset diabetes, is a medical condition in which your body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in our body by the Pancreas that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats into glucose, or sugar.
When the body is not responsive to insulin it causes too much glucose in your bloodstream, which causes damage your nerves as well as the small blood vessels that nourish your nerves with oxygen and nutrients. Without enough oxygen and nutrients the nerves become damaged resulting in difficulty or inability of the nerve to send and receive signals to and from your brain. This nerve damage from diabetes is referred to as diabetic neuropathy.
Functional problems are difficulties patients face in living their life, making daily activities more difficult, impaired or even impossible. When encountering functional difficulties, a patient’s quality of life can often be improved by working with a physical therapist (PT). Ask your neurologist if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be addressed with physical therapy:
- Gait abnormalities
- Endurance deficits
- Motion limitations
- Balance impairments
- Problems moving in bed
- Bracing and/or orthotic needs
- Joint stiffness or contractures
A physical therapist will utilize all available equipment, modalities, and therapeutic exercise to aid in every patient’s functional progress. Each patient may react differently to these therapeutics; careful progression over time will prove to be fundamental in successful treatment. Therapists may draw from the following range of equipment and therapeutic modalities to provide each patient with the best chance of pain-free, independent functionality:
- Skilled soft tissue techniques
- Peripheral and spinal mobilizations
- Thermal modalities
- Electrical stimulation
- Vibration platforms
- Near infrared phototherapy
- Balance systems and force plates
- Individualized therapeutic exercise
- Functional activities
How do my blood sugar levels affect my activities?
Lower than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). Your blood sugar may be too low to exercise safely. Eat a small carbohydrate-containing snack, such as fruit before you begin your workout.
Signs of low blood sugar:
- Sweating(almost always present). Check for sweating on the back of your neck at your hairline.
- Nervousness, shakiness, and weakness.
- Extreme hungerand slight nausea.
- Dizziness and headache.
- Blurred vision.
- A fast heartbeat and feeling anxious.
100 to 250 mg/dL (5.6 to 13.9 mmol/L). You’re good to go! For most people, this is a safe pre-exercise blood sugar range.
250 mg/dL (13.9 mmol/L) or higher. This is a caution zone. Before exercising, test your urine for ketones — substances made when your body breaks down fat for energy. Excess ketones indicate that your body doesn’t have enough insulin to control your blood sugar. If you exercise when you have a high level of ketones, you risk ketoacidosis — a serious complication of diabetes that needs immediate treatment. Instead, wait to exercise until your test kit indicates absence or a low level of ketones in your urine.
Signs of high blood sugar:
- Increased thirst.
- Increased urination.
- Weight loss.
- Increased appetite.
- Blurred vision.
- Flushed, hot, dry skin.
- Restlessness, drowsiness, or difficulty waking up.
300 mg/dL (16.7 mmol/L) or higher. Your blood sugar may be too high to exercise safely, as these high glucose levels may increase your risk of dehydration and ketoacidosis. Postpone your workout until your blood sugar drops to a safe pre-exercise range