Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases characterized by high levels of blood glucose
resulting from defects in insulin
production, insulin action, or both. There are 2 principle types of diabetes mellitus. Insulin dependent (type 1) diabetes and non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes.
This is the more severe form of diabetes and usually appears in young people under the age 35, most commonly between the ages of 10 and 16. Type 1 diabetes develops when the body's immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells, the only cells in the body that make the hormone insulin that regulates blood glucose. This form of diabetes usually strikes children and young adults, who need several insulin injections a day or an insulin pump to survive. Type 1 diabetes may account for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes may account for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes and usually develops in people over 40 with a gradual onset. It usually begins as insulin resistance, a disorder in which the body becomes insensitive to insulin. As the need for insulin rises, the pancreas gradually loses its ability to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, and physical inactivity. Type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents. In most cases, insulin-replacement injections are not required, instead, a combination of dietary measures, weight reduction, and oral medication keeps the condition under control.
Research studies in the United States have found that lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes among high-risk adults. These studies included people with Impaired Glucose Tolerance and other high-risk characteristics for developing diabetes. Lifestyle interventions included diet and moderate-intensity physical activity (such as walking for 2 ½ hours each week). For both sexes and all age and racial and ethnic groups, the development of diabetes was reduced 40% to 60% during these studies that lasted 3 to 6 years.
Studies have also shown that medications have been successful in preventing diabetes in some population groups. In the Diabetes Prevention Program, a large prevention study of people at high risk for diabetes, people treated with the drug metformin reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 31%. Treatment with metformin was most effective among younger, heavier people (those 25-40 years of age who were 50 to 80 pounds overweight) and less effective among older people and people who were not as overweight. There are no known methods to prevent Type 1 diabetes. Several clinical trials are currently in progress.
Exercise & Health Guidelines for Diabetics
- Limit activities to a moderate intensity to reduce the risk of precipitating an adverse event, avoiding vigorous activities that would typically result in fatigue within 20 minutes
- Use lighter weights and higher repetitions with resistance training
- Never exercise when blood sugar is poorly controlled
- Diabetics must wear good footwear and be very stringent with foot hygiene. This is because blood acidity can become very high as the body will turn to fatty acids for energy if there are low glucose levels. This acidity will have a major effect on the vascular system resulting in the eating away of delicate capillaries and eventually killing the cell. This can lead to gangrene and possible amputation. Because the feet are the part of the body furthest away from the heart a cut or injury will take that much longer to heal, resulting in a higher risk of infection.
- Stop exercise if blood sugar levels drop below an acceptable level
- Do not inject insulin into primary muscle groups that will be used during exercise because it will be absorbed too quickly and may cause hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
- Avoid exercising during periods of peak insulin activity
- Where possible avoid exercising last thing at night
- If you are a protein dieter you need to check your blood acidity regularly as a greater proportion of fatty acids are burned.
Taken from www.peter-sait.co.uk (my own website) where it was originally written from a variety of sources.