Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterised with abnormally high levels of sugar glucose in the blood.
It is caused by failure of two of the body's functions:
- Inadequate production of insulin (which lowers blood glucose and is made by the pancreas)
- Inadequate sensitivity of cells to the action of insulin
In type 1 diabetes there is no insulin or not enough of it. In type 2 diabetes there is generally enough insulin but the cells upon which it should act are not so sensitive to its action.
If left untreated, diabetes can severely damage organs in the body. Physical activity normalises blood glucose levels by making the body more responsive to insulin and increases the production of insulin. Studies have shown that people who exercise are 50% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes [Hara et al 1983].
Not only does exercise help to reduce body fatness but also reduces other risk factors for heart disease.
Exercise recommendations for diabetes are moderate intensity exercise for 30 minutes or longer with a sustained heart rate of 60-70% of your maximum heart rate every day (I can help you to work this out – I need your doctor's approval for this – I know this may sound a lot, but honestly, I will show you how to enjoy it!).
Other possible approaches:
- Adjustment of insulin regime.
- Adjustment of food intake-In conjunction with G.P. I will provide you with a personalised diet plan.
- Close monitoring of blood glucose and urine ketones to determine the need for changes in diet or insulin dosage.
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