What You Need to Know About Diabetes on National Diabetes Day

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What You Need to Know About Diabetes on National Diabetes Day

It’s likely you know someone whose life has been impacted by diabetes. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people are impacted by diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 10 percent of adults in the United States are living with diabetes, making it among the top health concerns facing the country. At NARA, our goal is to help you understand diabetes, its risk factors, and what you can do to protect your health. 

What Are the Types of Diabetes? 

Diabetes is a condition that limits the body’s ability to produce insulin. Without insulin, the amount of sugar in your blood becomes higher than normal, which can lead to a wide range of health issues. There are three primary types of diabetes: 

  • Type 1 Diabetes: This type is a congenital condition that limits the body’s ability to produce insulin, which causes the blood sugar levels to elevate. Type 1 diabetes causes the body to attack and destroy the body’s insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. 

  • Type 2 Diabetes: This type is usually developed in adults and limits the body’s ability to respond to insulin because the body develops an insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes is often preventable and is brought on by unhealthy lifestyle choices like poor diet, limited exercise, and obesity.  

  • Gestational Diabetes: This type of diabetes specifically affects pregnant women during their pregnancy. 

What Are the Side Effects of Diabetes? 

There are a number of symptoms that affect patients with diabetes, including: 

  • Changes in body weight 

  • Lethargy 

  • Increased thirst, urination and sweating 

  • Tingling, cramping or numbness in the hands and feet 

  • Increased hunger 

  • High blood pressure 

  • Joint pain 

If you experience any combination of these symptoms, you should see our doctor and make sure they are fully aware of any of your symptoms.  

How Is Diabetes Treated? 

Many diabetes patients, especially those with Type 1 diabetes, require insulin management via medication and insulin injections. Type 2 Diabetes can usually be treated by making lifestyle changes like implementing a healthy diet and increased exercise. Physical therapy can also be used to treat the symptoms of diabetes by performing exercises focused on improving: 

  • Strength 

  • Balance 

  • Flexibility 

  • Endurance 

Physical therapy and rehab providers can conduct an assessment of their diabetic patients and create a plan to help them maintain these areas of focus. 

NARA specializes in serving the needs of physical therapy practices and rehab providers. If you are interested in becoming a NARA member, please contact us.