Diabetes Mellitus and Physical Therapy


The most common endocrine disease in the United States is the Diabetes.

The Pancreas

The pancreas is made up of mainly exocrine (95%) tissues, and remaining endocrine tissues called islet of Langerhans.

It has two functions;

1) Exocrine function: Exocrine glands release digestive enzymes into the pancreatic duct that helps break down and the digestion of food. The pancreatic duct joins the common bile duct (originates in the liver and the gallbladder) to form the ampulla of Vater. The ampulla of Vater is in the first portion of the small intestine, called the duodenum. The common bile duct produces the digestive enzyme called bile. The pancreatic enzymes and bile released into the duodenum, help the body to digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

The pancreatic digestive enzymes are;

  1. trypsin and chymotrypsin to digest proteins
  2. amylase to digest carbohydrates
  3. lipase to break down fats

2) Endocrine Function: Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) such as Insulin and Glucagon, directly into the bloodstream. These hormones travel and reach the tissues and organs and control the blood sugar levels in our body.


Insulin regulates metabolic processes-breakdown of fat or protein-and provides cells the energy. Insulin helps the cells in the muscles (except smooth muscles), fat, and liver to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. The glucose serves as energy to these cells, or it can be converted into fat when needed.

In a healthy individual, the production and release of insulin tightly regulated, allowing the body to balance its metabolism.

In Diabetes, the body either does not secrete enough insulin or not efficiently using the secreted insulin.

Diabetes Demographics

References will be provided soon.

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