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Managing Diabetes through Physical Activity

At university, I learnt how much exercise can do for Diabetes, particularly Type II. Since then I have spent a lot of time researching further to really understand the topic. It just sounds too good to be true.

The great thing is that all the evidence backs up what I learnt. Since then I’ve been searching for the best way to share what I have found. My blog seems the best way.

What is diabetes

In Greek Diabetes means sweet urine because the main sympton is an inability to control blood sugar levels. This is because the cell mechanisms for regulating blood sugar have been disrupted.

In type 1 diabetes this is because your body can’t produce insulin. Insulin helps regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. So an inability to produce insulin leads to an inability to control sugar levels. The only treatment is injections of insulin.

The most common form of Diabetes, Type 2, is a disease of our modern sedentary lifestyles because our bodies have developed insulin resistance. Meaning that they can produce insulin but the cells of the body no longer respond correctly to it. Disrupting our ability to control blood sugar. Many people have this condition without even knowing because it develops slowly over many years.

Listening to Radio 5 live (10th Feb 2014) I heard details about Diabetes in the UK. The problems of Diabetes include:

  • 100 amputations a week
  • leading cause of renal failure
  • leading cause of blindness

This is why it is so important to understand Diabetes and how to prevent it.

The value of activity in preventing problems is highlighted by a conversation with a patient. She asked her doctor what to do if sugar levels are high? Here doctor advised that she go for a walk.

Doctors could prescribe medicines but these all have side effects. The beauty of walking is that it is natural.

How does exercise help?

The main story of how exercise helps with diabetes is explained in Heart disease and diabetes: Move out of their way: This is a key article linking coronary heart disease (CHD), Diabetes and insulin resistance and explains in depth how diabetes causes damage to the body and how exercise fixes the problem.

Diabetes type II is primarily about insulin resistance. So the key question is Can you reverse insulin resistance

diabetes type 2 is conisidered a self inflicted disease. Brad thompson of oncolytics explains that type 2 diabetes is nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with lifestyle. That’s what is clear these days. Brad is an expert in micro biology and cell dynamics so he explains the issue very well.

The benefits of exercise tie in to the effect of physical inactivity on disease worldwide  and the pandemic of physical inactivity

Study the course

woman with white sunvisor running

How exercise combats Heart Disease, Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

Useful reading

I have found so much useful information it seemed wrong to hide it.

Useful references

  • How fiber prevents diabetes, obesity Related information on why fibre actually helps diabetes and obesity.
  • Profound Implications” – New Research Details the Microbial Origins of Type 1 Diabetes Shows the complex link played between gut bacteria and the body at large. A vibrant gut ecosystem is show. To protect against diabetes type I because microbes attack the beta cells walls ina way that triggers them to reproduce. Protecting them from attack by creating more. 
  • Exercise and diabetes: a short and simple introduction to the topics of type 2 diabetes (NIDDM), insulin, insulin resistance and exercise
  • Fasting and Overeating – How you Change your Mitochondria. [Study 32]
    • This is a fascinating summary of the findings of a recent study published in Cell metabolism.
    • The new information being that how our mitochondria change according to your diet which fascinates me. The idea that mitochondria combine and separate as needed is new and amazing.
    • Just as importantly though I really like the simple and down to earth way the electron transport chain is explained. This is such a fundamental part of cell energy flow which often seems so complex but it did not seem like that in this video.
    • The presenter patiently explains how this energy pathway is affected by high and low energy situations. The presentation is easy to follow so I recommend it for anyone who has an interest in cell metabolism and would like to learn a little about how our cells use energy.
  • Diabetes & Mitochondria: How Nutrition Connects the Two. [Study 32]
    • A well explained summary of the causes of diabetes at a nutritional level matching what I was taught at university.
    • As always I find that the specific part movement plays in generating energy demand and proper use of the energy pathway is ignored and thus the only solutions provided are dietary. 
    • The underlying philosophy being that science knows best and the body needs to be managed. instead of treating the body as strong and capable when used properly
    • I  really like the content but get frustrated at the system and culture that sees the human being as something to be managed. 
  • Diabetes and Insulin: A Triumph for Recombinant DNA Technology: Great summary of the history of diabetes and insulin
A Triumph for Recombinant DNA Technology: Great summary of the history of diabetes and insulin

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