What is the role of osteopathy in the treatment of diabetes?
Osteopathy provides a natural approach that complements conventional drug treatments. We explain how the osteopath can support you in the management of your diabetes.
What is diabetes ?
Everyone has heard of diabetes. Here are some explanations to understand the mechanisms of this pathology.
Diabetes is a disorder of assimilation, use and storage of sugars provided by food. This results in an excess of sugar in the blood (called glycemia): we speak of hyperglycemia.
The origin of this hyperglycemia results from an imbalance in the regulation of hormones (insulin and glucagon) allowing to maintain a stable blood sugar level during the day.
How do you know if you have diabetes?
Today, diabetes is a real public health problem in the world. Indeed, in 2017, 8.8% of the world population is affected by this pathology.
Screening is done in the laboratory by blood test to measure glycemia (blood sugar level). A patient is declared diabetic if his blood sugar level is equal to or greater than 1.26 g/L on an empty stomach.
There are actually two forms of diabetes. Here’s how to find it:
Type 1 diabetes: insulin-dependent diabetes
It is often discovered in young people (children, adolescents). This type of diabetes is called autoimmune. It results from a succession of mechanisms:
Destruction by the body’s immune defence system of pancreatic beta cells that secrete the hypoglycemic hormone: insulin. Insulin is no longer present in the blood enough to regulate the level of glucose in the blood Hyperglycemia occurs
Type 2 diabetes: insulin-resistant diabetes
This type of diabetes is generally diagnosed 5 to 10 years after the onset of the mechanism causing this diabetes, the symptoms being often silent during the first years of the disease. It results from two phenomena:
Insulinopenia: Insulin produced by the pancreas is not enough to effectively balance blood sugar. Pancreatic beta cells produce more insulin
Insulin deficiency: after several years of producing abnormal amounts of insulin, the pancreas tires and no longer produces insulin.
The main symptoms reported by diabetic patients are:
increased volume and frequency of urination
unexplained weight loss
infection of the genitals and bladder
tingling fingers or feet
Treatment consists mainly of insulin injections into the blood. For type 2 diabetes, a healthy diet is put in place to reduce the risk of worsening diabetes, sedentary lifestyle and overweight being risk factors for this pathology.
The place of osteopathy in the care of patients with diabetes:
Osteopathy in its global approach to the patient, will aim in his session to restore mobility to the visceral structures affected in the diabetic patient: pancreas, liver, duodenum… But he will also ensure that the sliding planes between all the viscera are present. He will work on the framework that surrounds the abdomen, the lumbar spine, the thorax, the pelvis, the diaphragm in order to balance the pressures and allow the abdominal organs to function optimally.
Finally, he will be required to work at the cranial level and on specific dorsal vertebrae in order to act on the neuro-vegetative regulation of the digestive system concerned.
Recent research in osteopathy reveals new treatment perspectives for diabetic patients. These advances could provide patients with a better quality of life as well as a potential reduction in current traditional treatments.