Diabetes and Physical Therapy

About the Course
Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine pathology associated with abnormally elevated glucose dilution due to limited insulin production, limited target cell responsiveness, or a combination of both. This leads to a constant state of hyperglycemia. Over time, chronic hyperglycemia leads to destruction of different organs; primarily blood vessels, the nervous system, heart, eyes and kidneys.  Of significant concern to physical therapists is the fact that nearly one quarter of all people 65 and older in the U.S. has pre-diabetes.

Learning objectives
  • Express the current sociocultural context of diabetes.
  • Review physiologic functions of the pancreas and liver.
  • Explain the physiologic processes of metabolism and energy utilization.
  • Report and interpret the physiologic relationship between insulin and glucose.
  • Discuss the pathogenesis of diabetes.
  • Contrast and compare Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Describe the physiologic relationship between diabetes and obesity.
  • Investigate historical medical care for diabetes.
  • Interpret medical management strategies related to insulin and pharmaceuticals.
  • Sequence diabetes-associated medical complications.
  • Define the nature of diabetic wounds and progressions toward wound care versus amputation.
  • Formulate objective diabetes-related functional impairments.
  • Develop a working medical model to address exercise and lifestyle amendments for individuals with diabetes.
  • Support physical therapy exam components for patients with diabetes.
  • Appraise physical therapy interventions for diabetic populations.