World Diabetes Day this year falls on November 14th and is the annual occasion when the world’s attention turns to the growing problem that is diabetes. This awareness campaign sees events organised across 100 countries as well as in the G7, the UN General Assembly and the G20. Behind the campaign is the International Diabetes Federation who aim to give those suffering from the condition a powerful voice as well as educating people in how to avoid the condition.
By the year 2035, there will be an estimated 600 million people that will live with diabetes on a daily basis. In 2014, there were nearly five million deaths associated with the condition and one in two sufferers don’t even realise they have it. World Diabetes Day aims to help educate those people into getting checked as well as offering advice and support for those with the condition.
How Physiotherapy Can Help
Diabetes can be a life changing illness for many people who suffer with it. As well as medication, regular check-ups and dietary advice, one of the constants that doctors and medical professionals say to sufferers is that exercise is crucial. However for many sufferers, a jog through the park or a session at the gym isn’t possible and it is here that the help of a physiotherapist can be vital.
By seeing a physio, a diabetes sufferer can find a personalised plan for their condition and also their physical capabilities. The recommended exercise regime for diabetics is 30-40 minutes four times a week. A physio can help look at what a patient needs but also what they can do and set up a regime suited to them.
As well as treating the condition itself, the physio can also be important in treating the complications that come from the condition. These can include circulation problems in hands and feet that can lead to a loss of sensory input. Nerve damage is another big problem while conditions such as dropped foot can lead to accidents.
Going to see a physio might sound a little intimidating – you have this mental image of one of those hyperactive fitness instructors from the TV who are bubbling with energy and want everyone else to be the same! The reality is that a physio will know better than you do what your capabilities are and what you are able to do within them.
Seeing a physio isn’t just about gym-type exercises. It can also be about getting better balance if your circulation isn’t what it once was. They can even help recommend changes needed to your home to better manage your physical limitations. They can help you understand how your joints and muscles work so you can understand your own body better.
Think of the physio as the first step to managing diabetes better than before – they can help you get the exercise that might be crucial in managing blood sugar levels or cope with the damage the condition has caused to your body. By taking their advice and following their plans, you can get even more from your life for the longest time.