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Exercise May Reduce the Complications of Diabetes, According to Sports Health Journal Study
Date:12/29/2009

Activity may delay diabetes onset in those with glucose intolerance

Rosemont, IL (Vocus) December 29, 2009 -- Exercise is a critical piece of a healthy lifestyle, however, those who suffer from diabetes may see an even greater impact, according to a study published in the January/February 2010 issue of Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Authors confirm that exercise can aid in diabetes treatment by improving glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

When a healthy individual eats a meal, the pancreas produces insulin. This insulin helps the body store and use the glucose, or sugar, present in the food for energy and everyday activities. A body affected by diabetes either does not create enough insulin or does not properly use the insulin produced. When insulin release and glucose levels are not balanced, either high or low blood sugar can result.

This is where exercise can help. “During exercise, insulin is suppressed to allow more glucose to be released from the liver, but, it also makes the muscle cells more sensitive to insulin, allowing for a more efficient use of the glucose,” explains Karl B. Fields, MD, an author of the study and a physician at the Family Practice Center at Moses Cone Hospital.

There are two types of individuals affected by diabetes: Type 1 individuals are typically thin and are affected by diabetes at a young age. In these individuals diabetes is caused by an autoimmune process that destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Type 2 individuals are more commonly overweight adults, though the disease has become more prevalent in younger age groups due to obesity. Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. The study notes that each group can benefit from exercise, however, it is important for a diabetic athlete to consult with a physician before beginning an exercise program to
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