Frequently Asked Questions About Type 2 Diabetes Physical Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions About Type 2 Diabetes Physical Therapy | Capitol Physical Therapy Orthopedics And Pain Management Washington DC

Diabetes is a chronic condition and a worldwide health problem.

In America alone it affects thirty-four million people.

Diabetes occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin and you’re left with too much glucose in your bloodstream.

Some of the physical issues that are related to diabetes include obesity, decreased endurance, weakness, and balance problems.

Physical activity and exercise can be effective in lowering high blood sugar levels.

There are different types of diabetes, but today we’ll be looking at type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form.

At Capitol Physical Therapy, we offer physical therapy treatments for diabetes and provide you hands-on care through education and prescribed movement.

If you have type 2 diabetes it’s important to incorporate physical activity into your treatment plan.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which your body doesn’t produce or efficiently use insulin.

The insulin hormone is produced by the pancreas and allows sugar to be absorbed by your cells to provide energy.

When your pancreas can’t make enough insulin, sugar (glucose) builds up in your blood, leading to hyperglycemia.

In type 2 diabetes your body’s cells aren’t able to respond to insulin to the efficiency that they should.

Essentially your body’s cells develop a resistance to insulin and your body can’t produce enough of it to balance it out.

This forces your pancreas to work harder to produce insulin, which, over time, can damage the cells in the pancreas.

Eventually your pancreas may lose its ability to produce any insulin altogether.

Left unchecked, type 2 diabetes can lead to chronic high blood glucose levels, which can cause more serious complications.

Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age and may be preventable.

What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?

Factors that can contribute to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes include poor diet, obesity, and lack of physical exercise.

Unfortunately, one’s environment isn’t always set up for access to good nutrition, green spaces, or other opportunities for healthy eating and exercise.

So there are social determinants to this disease as well.

The lack of glucose in your blood leads to your body relying on other energy sources, like tissue, muscle, and organs.

This can lead to many symptoms and, through progression of the disease, more severe issues and complications.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by your body’s resistance to insulin, but this may be attributed to a combination of factors.

Some factors that may be linked to trigger type 2 diabetes include:

  • Genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes
  • Genetic predisposition to developing obesity
  • Being forty-five or older
  • Being Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, or of Alaska Native descent

What Sort Of Exercises Are Good For Type 2 Diabetes?

Physical activity and exercise can help lower and control your blood sugar levels.

This can help manage type 2 diabetes and allow you to improve your ability to move, reduce pain, and perform daily tasks.

There are three principal types of exercise that can be good for type 2 diabetes.

Aim to perform at least thirty minutes of aerobic exercises (cardio) daily.

Whether it’s walking, playing tennis, dancing, running, swimming, or biking, try to stay active daily.

Once you’re more comfortable with getting your body moving, you can start to add in strength training.

Strength training builds lean muscle and is particularly good for you if you have type 2 diabetes.

That’s because muscles use up the most glucose, so the more you use your muscles the better your body will regulate glucose.

Strength training can include weight training or using your own body weight to perform calisthenics exercises.

Lastly there’s flexibility training.

Flexibility training improves how well your muscles and joints work.

Using resistance bands to stretch out your range of motion as well as yoga can be highly beneficial to your flexibility.

It’s also important to stretch before and after any exercise you do to relax your muscles and reduce soreness.

Overall you should aim to have a good mix of all three of these types of exercises for the best benefit to your body.

How Can I Exercise Safely With Type 2 Diabetes?

At Capitol Physical Therapy, our physical therapists are here to share their knowledge and support you by designing personalized treatment plans.

The first step to knowing your limits is by completing a detailed assessment of your current condition and medical history.

Remember to stay hydrated before and during exercise and have fast acting sugary snacks ready.

This can help if you experience hyperglycemia or low blood glucose levels, especially if you’re on insulin.

You should check your blood sugar every thirty minutes during exercise and four hours afterwards to monitor any changes.

People with this condition can also experience diabetic neuropathy.

This is a type of nerve damage affecting your legs and feet that can lead to more serious complications.

Make sure that you’re wearing clean socks and comfortable well fitting shoes.

Check your feet before and after physical activity for redness, blisters, or other signs of irritation.

Also when you exercise you want to make sure that you’re not over doing it and putting too much pressure on your body.

It’s recommended to do a five minute warm up and cool down when exercising to monitor your comfort levels and progress.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?| Capitol Physical Therapy Orthopedics And Pain Management Washington DC

What Post Workout Snacks Are Good For Type 2 Diabetes?

Physical activity may cause a dip in your blood sugar levels.

Healthy carbohydrates can provide you with much needed energy after a workout.

Try to aim to have a snack that contains around fifteen grams of carbohydrates.

Some food options include:

  • Whole fruit
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Legumes (beans)

Again, it’s good to check and monitor your blood sugar level before and after exercise to ensure you’re at a stable level.

How Can Physical Therapy For Type 2 Diabetes Help?

Exercise and physical activity allow your muscles to use glucose without insulin, which regulates blood glucose levels and makes insulin more effective.

By adjusting your eating habits and physical activity you can keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) at a healthy range.

Exercise keeps your heart strong and healthy and helps you maintain good cholesterol, helping you avoid plaque build up.

This can also help to avoid more severe complications.

Some complications include:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin problems
  • Neuropathy
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Necrosis
  • Reduced muscle strength and function

In many cases implementing physical therapy to help with your type 2 diabetes can prevent these complications from occurring.

Diabetes can also affect a person’s ability to move.

Physical therapy can be beneficial to your skin, tendons, and discs, and reduce your risk of pain and injury.

Physical therapy can help you manage your type 2 diabetes and improve your overall health to make your body stronger.

Being physically active has many traditional benefits as well that may improve your quality of life.

These include:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Weight control
  • Increase of good cholesterol
  • Stronger musculoskeletal system
  • Increased energy
  • Increased sleep quality
  • Improved mood
  • Stress management

Book Your Appointment With Capitol Physical Therapy Today

If you have type 2 diabetes and are looking to manage and improve your life, Capitol Physical Therapy is here to help.

Our physical therapists will teach you how to manage your symptoms so that you can get back to the activities you enjoy.

Stop living in discomfort and get on the path to wellness.

Book your appointment with Capitol Physical Therapy today.

Capitol Physical Therapy
1331 H St NW #200,
Washington, DC 20005


9560 Pennsylvania Ave. # 202,
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772


Capitol Physical Therapy offers orthopedic and other pain related solutions, with our versitile team of physical therapists in Washington, DC