From the Therapist’s Desk : Diabetes Awareness

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Diabetes is very serious condition that has great impact on our society. A study by the American Diabetes Association estimated the 2012 cost of diabetes at 245 billion. Of the 245 billion, 176 billion was for direct medical costs and another 69 billion is related to lost productivity.

Diabetes typically is classified as Type I (insulin dependent) and Type II (non-insulin dependent). It is estimated that approximately 3 million Americans have Type I diabetes and 27 million Americans are diagnosed diabetes with Type II, which gives us an estimated population of 30 million citizens currently living with Diabetes.

As a medical practitioner, I can verify the growing epidemic diabetes is in our society. On any given day I would say I usually have at least one diabetic patient, and based on the above numbers and my experience the large majority is Type II diabetes. So what can we do?

The research is very clear about the best ways to manage your diabetes, diet, exercise and medication.

1) A proper diet will help control blood sugars and control weight, see a registered dietitian for a more individualized plan that will meet your specific needs.

2) Exercise improves the cells sensitivity to insulin, meaning the cells can more readily utilize the available insulin to take up blood glucose. If blood glucose levels get too high it is damaging to the organs. Aside from improving the cells sensitivity exercise will also help decreased blood pressure, decrease cholesterol, and control weight; all of which are common co-morbidities.

 3) Lastly medications can and will be used, for which please consult with your physician.

Vita Physical Therapy and Fitness offers Medically Based Fitness, a program designed to help address issues listed above. Our staff of trained professionals will work together with you and the rest of your medical providers to establish a safe and effective program and move you towards your goals. Particularly with Type I diabetes the onset of an exercise program can trigger hypoglycemia, so it should be monitored closely at the beginning until you know how your body/blood sugars respond to exercise.


– Bradley Meyer ,DPT

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