at Absolute Health and Wellness
Diabetes is characterized by disordered blood sugar metabolism. There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes: an autoimmune condition, in which the pancreas is unable to product insulin, which affects how our body uses sugar
Type 2 Diabetes: a condition whereby the body produces insulin, but the cells don’t respond appropriately, which also affects how our body uses sugar.
In cases of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, a few things are similar: both involve education regarding insulin, blood sugar and nutrition. The specific treatments are different, but both can see benefit by seeing an integrated health team like you’ll find at Absolute Health and Wellness.
The Naturopath's Approach to Diabetes
ASSESSMENT: Your naturopath will carefully assess your medical history and help you manage your diabetes by using a systems-based approach. We will discuss the following,:
- Diet: Many nutrition misconceptions exist, which have huge implications for diabetes
- Exercise: physical exercise and lean muscle mass control blood sugar and insulin
- Inflammation: inflammation affects everything, including diabetes
- Hormones: diabetes is associated with one hormone called insulin, and all our hormones interact with one another.
- Specialized Lab Testing: in some cases, special lab tests can give us further analysis into your diabetes
TREATMENT: our naturopath uses several options to manage diabetes. We also target the tissues commonly affected such as kidneys, eyes, muscle, heart and blood vessels.
- Weight Management and Lifestyle Change: Type 1 & 2 Diabetes are heavily affected by our lifestyle, many aspects of treatment revolve around the things you do at home
- Diet: understanding how diet affects diabetes and associated symptoms is key; learn how to incorporate carbs, protein and fat into your diet safely
- Herbs: research shows certain herbs can be helpful for the treatment of diabetes, some affect blood sugar, others help insulin sensitivity.
- Vitamins/Minerals: certain nutrients can be used therapeutically to treat diabetes and its associated conditions
- Prevention: many aspects of diabetes are preventable. Understanding the contributing factors of type 1 or type 2 diabetes is important, and knowing how to modify those factors is crucial
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The Phyiotherapist's Approach to Diabetes
ASSESSMENT: Our physiotherapists will investigate your diabetes and associated conditions by asking the following:
- Patient History: diabetics are predisposed to certain musculoskeletal injuries
- Observation: for signs of tissue irritation, changes in joint alignment, inflammation
- Gait and Functional Tests: to assess if your body mechanics contributes to your pain
- Range of Motion: measuring your range of motion and looking for joint restrictions
- Strength: look for weakness & imbalance
- Neurological: looking for neuropathy
- Soft Tissues and Palpation: to test the integrity of the ligaments, muscles, and cartilage
TREATMENT: Our physiotherapists use a variety of treatment techniques to help you manage your diabetes and associated musculoskeletal conditions:
- Manual Therapy: joint mobilizations, soft tissue release, and stretching to help improve range of motion
- Acupuncture and Dry Needling: acupuncture has been proven to be effective in pain management and increasing tissue repair
- Therapeutic Modalities: ultrasound, hot/cold therapy, and electrostimulation can help with pain and healing
- Exercise: guidelines recommend exercise as an integral role in diabetes management. We focus on strength and endurance
- Education: we will discuss topics such as weight management, exercise, and pain management techniques for self-management
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The Chiropractor's Approach to Diabetes
ASSESSMENT: Our chiropractors use thorough subjective and physical assessments to determine the best course of action:
- Head to toe assessment: chiropractors can help with back and spine related pain, but also peripheral joints too
- Health History: learning about your past helps us better understand your current state of health
- Movement: observing how you move tells us a lot about your joint health, muscle imbalances and posture
- Functional Testing: looking at range of motion and strength
- Strength: looking for any areas of weakness
TREATMENT: Our chiropractors use a variety of treatment techniques to help you manage your joint pain:
- Manual Therapy: joint manipulations and mobilizations, soft tissue release, and stretching to help improve range of motion
- Therapeutic Modalities: ultrasound, hot/cold therapy, and electrostimulation may help with pain and/or tissue repair
- Exercise: exercise plays an important role in diabetes management
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The Massage Therapist's Approach to Diabetes
ASSESSMENT: Diabetes is associated with associated conditions, from which soft tissue work may be helpful.
Our massage therapists will assess the following:
- Patient History: to determine any areas of pain, inflammation or tension. Remember, those with diabetes tend to have more chronic tendinopathies, so circulation is important for repair
- Observation: looking for signs of inflammation, postural or muscular imbalance
TREATMENT: Massage therapy is generally helpful for stress relief, muscle tension, and promoting general circulation, which are all helpful in diabetic patients
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