National Diabetes Month- Get Informed

National Diabetes Month - Get Informed!

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What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes is a condition when your body is not able to process blood sugar (or glucose) correctly. Normally after eating, the body turns glucose from the food into energy with the help of insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that regulates the amount of sugar in your blood.  With Type 2 Diabetes, the body does not use insulin the way it should which causes the blood sugar to remain in your blood instead of being used as energy. This can cause the blood sugar levels to become very high.

Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

The TOP THREE risk factors are:

  1. Being overweight

  2. Lack of physical activity

  3. Smoking

The good news is that you can control these three things by eating a healthy diet, participating in regular exercise, and with smoking cessation.

Some people are more likely to get Type 2 Diabetes than others. These include:

  1. People who are 45 years and older

  2. People who have a close relative with Type 2 Diabetes.

  3. People who are Black, Native American, Hispanic, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.

You can also Check out this test from the American Diabetes Association to see if you’re at risk.

Early Warning Signs/Symptoms

The signs of Type 2 Diabetes are often overlooked by most people. The main signs and symptoms are increased thirst or hunger, frequent urination, and blurred vision.

Other signs/symptoms may include:

  • Always feeling tired or weak

  • Slow healing wounds or cuts

  • Sudden weight loss

  • Numbness/Tingling in hands or feet

Diabetes can also increase your risk of falls!

In 2016, a study discovered that diabetes can greatly increase your risk of falling due to the following reasons:

  • Diabetes can cause loss of sensation in your feet, affect your vision, and worsen your balance.

  • When you don’t properly control your sugar, it can leave you confused and dizzy, especially if it gets too low.

How can Physical Therapy help with Type 2 Diabetes?

Exercise is your friend, especially for those with diabetes. Frequent exercise has been shown to prevent Type 2 Diabetes, improve your blood sugar, and allow your body to make better use of insulin.

In order to get the most out of exercise, it should:

  • Be at least three days each week

  • Moderate intensity (i.e. walking, jogging, dancing) for a total of 150 minutes

  • Include resistance training and stretching

A physical therapist is an expert in movement, exercise, and balance and can prescribe an exercise plan that works for you. If you feel that your Type 2 Diabetes is getting in the way of your everyday activities, or you are looking to start a safe exercise program to prevent/manage your diabetes, Vital Step Physical Therapy & Fitness can help you with a fitness program that can help you reach your goals.


  1. Goodman CC, Fuller KS. Pathology: Implications for the Physical Therapist. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2015.

  2. Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Published November 1, 2016. Accessed November 8, 2018.

  3. Yang Y, Hu X, Zhang Q, Zou R. Diabetes mellitus and risk of falls in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Age and Ageing. 2016;45(6):761-767. doi:10.1093/ageing/afw140

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